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1 GENDER DIFFERENCE IN SPORTS AD VERTISING: QUALITATIVE CONTENT ANALYSIS COMPARING SPORTS PROD UCT ADVERTISING TARGETING MEN VERSUS WOMEN By LAUREN CHRISTINE HEAPHY A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVERTISING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007
2 2007 Lauren Christine Heaphy
3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my deepest thanks to my supervisory committee chair, Dr. Robyn Goodman, and my committee members Dr. J on Sutherland, and Dr. Debbie Treise. Dr. Goodman provided constant support and guid ance; without her, I may not have made it through the year. Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Treise also provided guidan ce in their areas of expertise. I would also like to thank my fiance, Matt, for his constant support throughout this entire process. When I wanted to give up, he pushed me to work harder and reach my full potential. Without him, I would not have made it thr ough this phase of my educational career.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................3 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........6 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........7 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .10 Overview....................................................................................................................... ..........10 Purpose........................................................................................................................ ...........11 Rationale...................................................................................................................... ...........12 Significance of Study.......................................................................................................... ....12 Impact of Title IX............................................................................................................. ......14 Modern Female Sports Industry.............................................................................................15 Growth of Leagues..........................................................................................................15 Sponsorship.................................................................................................................... .16 Spectatorship.................................................................................................................. .17 Financial Inequity............................................................................................................19 Capitalizing on Female Growth in the Sports Industry..........................................................20 Capitalist Hegemony............................................................................................................ ..23 Feminism....................................................................................................................... .........25 Commodity Feminism............................................................................................................27 Social Learning Theory......................................................................................................... .28 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................31 Stereotypical Gender Portraya ls in the News Media..............................................................32 Title IX Coverage............................................................................................................32 National and Profession al Sports Media.........................................................................33 Intercollegiate Sport Media.............................................................................................35 Olympic Media Coverage................................................................................................37 Gender Portrayals in Advertising...........................................................................................41 Gender, Advertising and Frame Analysis.......................................................................41 Gender Difference in Print Advertising..........................................................................42 Gender and Television Advertising.................................................................................45 Gender in Sports Advertising.................................................................................................46 Limitations of Previous Studies..............................................................................................49 Study Contribution to the Field..............................................................................................49
5 3 METHOD....................................................................................................................... ........52 Qualitative Content Analysis..................................................................................................52 Semiotics...................................................................................................................... ...........53 Sample......................................................................................................................... ...........54 Materials (Apparatus).......................................................................................................... ...55 Procedure...................................................................................................................... ..........58 Dependability of Findings......................................................................................................59 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........60 Aesthetics: Overt Sexuality, Attrac tiveness, Body and Weight Loss.....................................60 Overt Sexuality................................................................................................................60 Attractiveness................................................................................................................. .62 Focus on Body.................................................................................................................64 Diet/Weight Loss.............................................................................................................65 Focus on Technology, Science, Performance or Use of Expert.............................................68 Technology and Science..................................................................................................68 Performance.................................................................................................................... .69 Use of Expert.................................................................................................................. .70 Focus on the Challenge and the Win......................................................................................71 Challenge...................................................................................................................... ...71 Competition and Winning...............................................................................................73 Improvement vs. Making the Sport Easier to Play.................................................................74 Achievement and Confidence.................................................................................................75 Style, Design and Color of Product........................................................................................76 Style.......................................................................................................................... .......76 Color of Product..............................................................................................................77 Color and Typeface Use In Ad...............................................................................................78 Emphasis of Color...........................................................................................................78 Use of Script Typeface....................................................................................................81 The Overly Emotional Female................................................................................................82 The Inexperienced Female Athlete and a Focus on Fun.........................................................83 5 DISCUSSION................................................................................................................... ......85 Conclusions.................................................................................................................... .........90 Suggestions for Future Research............................................................................................92 APPENDIX A CODEBOOK..................................................................................................................... .....93 B CODESHEET.................................................................................................................... .....96 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................108
6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Goffman Categorical Variables.........................................................................................42 4-1 Use of Color in Male vs. Female Ads................................................................................78
7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Consciousness Scale fo r Media Sexism: Women..............................................................51
8 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising GENDER DIFFERENCE IN SPORTS AD VERTISING: QUALITATIVE CONTENT ANALYSIS COMPARING SPORTS PROD UCT ADVERTISING TARGETING MEN VERSUS WOMEN By Lauren C. Heaphy August 2007 Chair: Robyn Goodman Major: Advertising My study explored the similarities and differences in the manner in which advertisers target males and females within magazine advert isements for sport-relate d products. I utilized theories of capitalist hegemony, commodity femi nism and social learni ng as a lens through which to examine the advertisements. In additio n to the feminist and so cial theories employed, past research was also incor porated into the investigation. Women have experienced vast development in the world of sports over the last 10 years; however studies have shown that advertising tends to portray women in a sexual light and does not recognize their physical abilities beyond sexual at traction. In addition to the ways in which reinforcement of gender stereotypes can affect women psychologically and socially, it can also affect marketers sales as studies have s hown that a lack of congruency between an advertisements role portrayal and a consumers role orientation can cause negative feelings about a product. Very little research has been conducted concer ning print advertising for sports products and the presence of ge nder stereotypes. Therefore, my study attempts to uncover similarities and differences in the ways sport product advertisers target males and females in print advertising.
9 A total of 48 advertisements (24 targeting fe males and 24 targeting males) for sport related products were qualitatively content analyzed ba sed partly on previously established gender related codes. The ads used appeared in a va riety of both maleand female-oriented magazines and range from the years 2001 to 2007. On the surface, the 48 ads in this sample appear to have made great strides in the portrayal of males and females. It seems that improvements have been made regarding the roles females play in advertising; for example, almo st all ads targeting females that used a model showed the model particip ating in an athletic activity. It is obvious that marketers have recognized that females have come to play a larg e role in the sporting industry and are here to stay. Despite this significant step forward, there were a number of ways in which advertisements subtly stereotyped females and males. Overall fi ndings of the study revealed that marketers of sports-related products use subtly different ta ctics in targeting wome n than they do men. Underscoring these tactics are subtle and indirect gender stereotypes that reinforce the patriarchal society in which we live.
10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Overview Within the arena of sport, as throughout soci ety, traditional stereotypes and definitions of both femininity and masculinity have esta blished, maintained a nd reinforced gender differentiation. Female athletes in todays American society are playing a perpetual game of tugof-war. On the one hand, they are trying to show the world that they are independent, powerful, championship-caliber athletes. On the other hand, society and the media are pulling them toward the ideal image of being sexy a nd feminine, inferring that only th en can they truly be powerful and strong (Goldman et al., 1991; Lynn, Hard in & Walsdorf, 2004). Despite feminist contributions and large leaps taken in achie ving gender equality, gender stereotypes still permeate all aspects of everyday life (Kan e, 1989; Duncan, 1990; Goldman, Heath, & Smith, 1991; Lane, 1998; Costa, 2003; Lynn et al., 2004). Advertising, in pa rticular, plays a large role in reinforcing these gender stereotypes (Goffman, 1979; Be lknap & Leonard, 1991; Klassen, Jasper & Schwartz, 1993; Plous & Neptune, 1997; Kang, 1997; Lynn, et al., 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). Yet few studies have been done examining sports advertising in pa rticular (Lynn, et al., 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). Based on previous research, expectations woul d be that stereotype s will continue to permeate sports advertising targeting both ma les and females (Cuneen and Sidwell, 1998; Cuneen and Clausen, 1999; Lynn, Hardin, Hard in, and Walsdorf, 2002; Goodman, Duke and Sutherland, 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). However, as female growth in the sports industry continues and female abilities grow closer and closer to equality with men, one would expect this to be reflected in sports advertising. The expl osion of female involvement in sports has proven to be a lucrative opportunity for marketers and advertisers. Fema le participation, spectatorship,
11 and spending in the sports industry have drastical ly increased in the last decade (Lynn, Hardin & Walsdorf, 2004). The exponential growth of th e female sports industry and along with it, female-focused sports advertising, warrants an i nvestigation into the similarities and differences in the tactics employed by sports adve rtising targeting females vs. males. Purpose The purpose of my study was to examin e common themes found in sports-related advertising targeting women and to compare thos e advertisements with advertisements for the exact same product but targeted to men. For ex ample, Bionic golf gloves uses different ads to advertise to men and women. Print advertisements will be qualitatively content analyzed, in part based on previously utilized gender-related c odes (Goffman, 1979; Silv erstein & Silverstein, 1974; Henley, 1977; Duncan & Sayaovong, 1990; Bli nde, Greendorfer & Shanker, 1991; Cuneen & Sidwell, 1998; Milner & Collins, 2000; Lynn et al., 2002; Dodd et al., 2006). The ads used in this study come from a variety of both female-a nd male-oriented magazines. Issues of the magazines range from the years 2001 to 2007. In comparing pairs of ads that advertise for the exact same product but differ in their target gend er, this study will aim to discover the themes found in male-and female-oriented advertising, particularly in re lation to sports products and specifically through a feminist lens Women have experienced vast development in the world of sports over the last 10 years; however, studies have shown that advertising tends to portray women in a sexual light and doe s not recognize their physical ab ilities beyond sexual attraction (Cuneen and Sidwell, 1998; Cuneen and Clau sen, 1999; Lynn, Hardin, Hardin, and Walsdorf, 2002). This proves important because research has found that when media representations did not reflect viewers experiences or desires, bu t instead devalued, trivialized or stereotyped female athletes, viewers became frustrated (Bruce 1998). Advertising most certainly falls into this category of media representa tions not reflecting viewers expe riences and desires. In fact,
12 research has shown that negative outcomes result when an audience does not identify with the media image/model they see and that this fu rther affects purchase intent (Silverstein & Silverstein, 1974). Studies have also shown that sexual difference in advertisi ng contributes to the social learning of what is ideal and appropriate beha vior in terms of ones gender (Goffman, 1979; Cuneen and Sidwell, 1998). Based on these findi ngs, female athletes are likely to mirror what they see in advertising. Rationale The explosion of female involvement in s ports has proven to be a lucrative opportunity for marketers and advertisers alike. Female participation, spectators hip, and spending in the sports industry have increased by immense proportions; however, th e media seem to ignore this as findings of previous studies delineate the reinforcement of gender difference within many aspects of modern sports me dia (e.g. Kinnick, 1998; Tuggle & Owen, 1998; Eastman & Billings, 1999; Cuneen and Sidwell, 1998; Goodman, Duke, Sutherland, 2002; Lynn et al., 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). Very little research has been conduc ted concerning print advertising for sports products and the presence of gender stereotypes. This study will attempt to uncover similarities and differences in the ways sport product adve rtisers target males and females in print advertising. Significance of Study The media serve as an educational source for what roles are acceptable for men and women to play (Tuchman, 1978; Kane, 1989; Goldman et al., 1991; Cohen, 1993; Artz & Murphy, 2000; Lynn et al., 2002). While women are portrayed as sex objects who are passive, dependent, incompetent and dumb, men are portrayed as adventurous, powe rful and aggressive (Wood, 1994). Men and women are likely to mirror what they see in advertising (Wood, 1994).
13 The way the media misrepresents gender can cause distortion in how we see ourselves and what we perceive as normal and desirable for us as men and women. Relating this to the world of sports, the sexualized and feminine portrayal of the female athlete makes womens involvement in sport seem illegitimate, stri pping them of their power in society as well (Cohen, 1993). Therefore, reinforcing gender roles within adver tising could be psychologi cally limiting females capabilities and more specifi cally the potential of female athletes everywhere. In addition to the ways in which reinforcem ent of gender stereotypes can affect women psychologically and socially, it can also affect marketers sales. Studies have shown that when media representations did not reflect females ow n experiences or desires but instead devalued, trivialized or stereotyped females, frustra tion resulted (Bruce, 1998). Leigh, Rethans and Whitney (1987) found that consis tency between an ads role por trayal and the audiences role orientation generated more favor able attitudes toward the ad (p. 59). Furthermore, these attitudes [carried] over to attitudes toward buying the product (Leigh, Rethans and Whitney, 1987, p. 59). These results also applied to mi smatches between ad copy and the target audiences attitudes and belie fs (Leigh, Rethans and Whitney, 1987). Based on these findings, marketers may want to re-think th eir methods for targeting women, especially when it comes to sports products. Instead of emphasizing st ereotypical role port rayals and focusing on attractiveness and the body, it se ems that marketers would bene fit from focusing on qualities such as strength and performance in sport product ads targeting females. This study aims to uncover the stereotypes cu rrent sport product marketers are using in targeting males and females. Revealing similari ties and differences in the methods used for each gender will allow us to evaluate whether stereotypes still pe rmeate sports print advertising. If women are being stereotyped in a matter that ru ns counter to the fema le athletes concerns, needs, and characteristics, then marketers may n eed to reconsider their strategies in targeting
14 male and female athletes. To better understand th e research question, the remaining part of this chapter will explore the impact of Title IX on wome ns athletics, the birth of the modern female sports industry, and the capitalization upon the modern female sports industry. Impact of Title IX The growth in both the number of female athl etes and in the value of the female sporting industry has been exponential. One of the most in fluential factors that led to womens growth in the sports industry was the passing of Title IX, an educational amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Costa, 2003). The act required any in stitution receiving federa l funds to provide an equal opportunity for both females and males in coaching, playing and officiating, as well as equal access to facilities (Cos ta, 2003). During the few years both preceding and following the enactment of Title IX, there was much contr oversy over what effects it would have on male participation in sports, as Title IX is often he ld responsible for the er adication of some mens sports teams (Lane, 1998). Despite surrounding controversy, the enactment of Title IX changed the landscape of sports and athletics for women and girls everyw here. At the time the law was signed in 1972, one in 27 girls in the United States participat ed in high school sports (Lynn, Hardin & Walsdorf, 2004). In 1998, one-third of girls claimed to be involved with organize d sports (Lynn, Hardin & Walsdorf, 2004). Since the amendments incepti on, the number of females involved in sports has risen dramatically and continues to climb at a steady rate (Lynn, Hardin & Walsdorf, 2004). A large amount of that growth occurred duri ng the 1990s, a decade widely accredited with the expansion of the female sport industry.
15 Modern Female Sports Industry Growth of Leagues Despite obstacles faced by some womens league s, many womens sports leagues, such as the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the Womens National Basketball Association and the Womens U.S. Tennis Association, continue to grow. The WNBA has 11 sponsors and complete financial backing by NBA franchises. To this day, the NBA a nd WNBA are the only professional teams close to raci al and gender equality (Costa, 2003). The Commissioner of the NBA insisted that the WNBA be an equal part ner, meaning they are given equal access to coaching, media representation, officiating and medi cal facilities, and most importantly a large share of revenue dollars (Costa, 2001; 2003, p. 157). Unlike the WNBA, which boasts only an 11-y ear history, the LPGA ha s been around since 1950 and has experienced steady gr owth since the 1970s, when it switched from being a playerrun organization to an ac tual business and hired its first commissioner (www.LPGA.com 2007). Although it still lags far behind me ns golf, womens golf is on the rise while growth of mens golf remains stagnant (Fitzgerald, 2007). Be tween 2000 and 2005, participation in womens golf rose about 20% to 6.6 million, according to the National Golf Foundation (Fitzgerald, 2007). An estimated 7 million women currently play golf, which is about 25% of the total number of golfers (Fitzgerald, 2007). Moreover, Nikes re search shows that the womens segment of golf has more potential for growth this year than the sport as a whole (Fitzgerald, 2007). Womens tennis also has seen a steady ri se in growth both professionally and recreationally since the late 1990s (Fial kov, 2006; Fleetwood, 2006). According to Kurt Kamperman, chief executive of community tennis for the U.S. Tennis Association, 52% of new recreational players in the U.S. are women. Wo men also now make up a growing segment of the players who play more than once a week (Fle etwood, 2006). While mens tennis was being
16 criticized for being too fast and one-dimensional in the late 1990s, the more versatile womens game was soaring in popularity -particularly in the United Stat es -with the emergence of Venus and Serena Williams, whose combination of power and athleticism sparked interest in an untapped black fan base (Fialkov, 2006, p. 1). Sponsorship The WNBA has enjoyed long-standing part nerships with both major national and international brands including American Expr ess, Proctor & Gamble, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Nickelodeon, Gatorade and Anheuser Busch (Friedman, 2003; Janofi, 2005; Isaacson, 2006). The LPGA also has had great success in attrac ting sponsors and financial support, which is typically an obstacle in female professional sports. Its current s ponsors include Bank of America, Michelob Ultra, Choice Hotels, Rolex, MasterCard, State Farm Insurance, Smuckers, and Titleist among others (Ladies Professiona l Golf Association, 2007). As more and more attention is being paid to the LP GA, advertisers are beginning to recognize its value in marketing to women (Schulz, 2007). As for tennis, an 8% rise in attendance has facilitated its growth ,making it possible for womens tennis to lure new partnerships with global sponsors like Sony Ericsson, with whom they signed a six-year title-sponsorship worth $88 million in 2005 (Applebaum, 2005). Said Dee Dutta, head of marketing for S ony Ericsson, "There are sports th at are bigger on a global scale, such as soccer, but womens tennis captured th e passion, excitement and glamour that we were looking for" (Applebaum, 2005). This sponsorship ensured long-term growth for the sport of tennis and proved to be the most lucrative deal signed in the history of all womens sports (Applebaum, 2005). Like golf, tennis has its stars and household name s that frequent the media. The latest and greatest stars have no trouble finding sponsors or endorsements. Maria Sharipova, one of those
17 stars, has deals with Colgate-Palmolive, Nike Prince, Microsoft, Honda, Pepsi, Motorola, Canon, NEC, Parlux Fragances and TAG Heuer, which adds up to almost $22 million a year in endorsements, making her the worlds highest paid female athlete in 2004 (Applebaum, 2005; Thomaselli, 2005). Moreover, tennis has often been praised for its equality in terms of gender. Said Billie Jean King, tennis legend and longt ime womens Olympic tennis coach, "Whenever we get to 50-50, we will be in the right place. Its a no-brainer, really. People always say, well, the women are not as good. Thats true, but we are very young in our history. Men have had opportunities for so many more years. This is just the start of ours" (Alexander & Clarke, 2000). Spectatorship Furthermore, women are watching more sports overall (Howard-Cooper, 2006). According to Carol Albert, the vice presiden t of advertising, marketing development and integration for the NBA, during the 2006 playo ffs, the NBA noticed a drastic 33% increase in TV ratings among females 18-49 (Howard-Cooper, 2006). TNT, a cable network that covers NBA games, reported a combined jump of 42% for regular season and postseason broadcasts since the 2000-01 season (Howard-Cooper, 2006) NBA Finals ratings among women 18 to 49, a critical demographic for adve rtisers, climbed 41% from 20 03 to 2006 (Howard-Cooper, 2006). The NBA is now undertaking a push with fema le-specific marketing and female-specific products, predicting women could represent $100 m illion in sales for them this year (HowardCooper, 2006. According to a 2005 ESPN poll, wo men make up a larger portion of the NBA fan base than any other professiona l league (Howard-Cooper, 2006). The WNBA also possesses an envied national TV presence (Isaacson, 2006). Its ratings are currently on the rise, and it still beats th e NHL and soccer on cable (Isaacson, 2006). The leagues current TV deal w ith ESPN and ABC expires in 2008, but according to League Commissioner David Stern, Disne y, which owns ABC and ESPN, ha s shown increased interest
18 in the league, and he is expec ting a bigger television deal to be reached some time before the expiration of the current contract (Smith, 2007). Stern also claims that the focus on television and marketing has caused a peak in sponsorship interest. "Sponsors are taking meetings now that we couldnt get before, because of the incr eased focus on marketing to women said Stern (Smith, 2007). However, despite its TV growt h, the WNBA is experiencing its fair share of obstacles. The league is losing money and several teams have seen an overall decline in game attendance, with the average of 9,228 fans per game in 2002 dropping to an average of 8,174 in 2005 (Isaacson, 2006). Despite these problems, player s, coaches and the commissioner continue to remain positive (Isaacson, 2006). According to the LPGA, its television audience has increased 26% over th e past four years, attendance has risen 18%, and the average tourna ment purse has increased by 16% to nearly $1.5 million (Chozick, 2006). With the presence of new up-and-coming prodigies like Michele Wie and Paula Creamer, more and more fans are wa tching (Tramel, 2006). According to Luellen, it is the LPGAs bonafide stars that have helped gain respect fo r women athletesthey are the picture of what you would want female stars to be -competitive and strong, but feminine (Tramel, 2006). However, many worry that with all of this focus on the young players, the LPGA may be overdoing it on the sex-appeal factor (Chozick, 2006). Donna Lopiano, chief executive officer at the Wome ns Sports Foundation, a nonprof it founded by tennis star Billie Jean King to advance women in sports, warns th at theres a "fine line between sex object and athlete" and these young stars need to be careful not to cross that line (Chozick, 2006). Womens tennis has also proved successful in the realm of TV ratings. The NBC television ratings for the women s finals of Wimbledon have outr anked that of the men since
19 2002 (Fialkov, 2006). These ratings could be attribut ed to the presence of high-profile stars like Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova (Fialkov, 2006). The most famous womens sporting event to date has been the 1999 World Cup, claiming 40 million viewers and surpassing the mens World Cup in TV ratings (Starr, 1999). The United States victory over China haile d as not just a triumph for wo mens soccer, but a triumph for women (Gavora, 2002). ABC News even proc laimed Mia Hamm and other members of the team heiresses of the womens movement (Gavora, 2002, p. 11). However, the victory could not be discussed without also addressing politics. The team became symbolic of the triumph of the Title IX law, being cal led daughters of Title IX by Time Magazine (Gavora, 2002, p.11). In addition to coupling the win to Title IX, the media immediately sexualized the story, emphasizing image of player Brandi Chastain pulling off her shirt in celebration, reve aling her black sports bra (Gavora, 20 02). The focus of the news stories and editorials was not the athletic strengths of the team; instead, they focused on the feminine aspects of the players, glorifying Chastains c loth symbol of Title IX s success (Gavora, 2002, p. 13). Financial Inequity While many womens sports continue to enjoy unprecedented growth and expansion, this has not necessarily translated into large financia l growth for female athletes salaries. Despite the LPGAs growth over the years, professional go lf today represents true inequity (Costa, 2003, p. 157). There is a vast chasm between prize money allotted for men and womens professional golf. Between 1996 and 2000, the a nnual prize money for wo mens pro golf rose from $26.5 million to $38.5 million, while in that same time period, PGA prize money rose from $69.1 million to $167 million (Costa, 2003). With Ti gers Woods entrance into the world of golf in 2000, the difference has since widened even more (Costa, 2003).
20 Despite inequities, more than ever, female gol fers are being monetarily rewarded for being good at what they do, with Annika Sorenstam cas hing in checks in excess of $2.5 million in 2006 (Tramel, 2006). In 1995, the leading money winner of the tour earned a mere $666,533 and in 1975, only $76,374 (Tramel, 2006). According to Melissa Luellen, ex-pro, "We have just scratched the surface of what you are going to see money-wise. As long as the leadership is solid, there will be continued growth opport unities for the tour (Tramel, 2006, p.1). Capitalizing on Female Growth in the Sports Industry The large growth in female interest in spor ts has been coupled w ith an increase in the popularity of sports apparel among women. In the United States, womens participation/involvement in spor ts is an estimated $60 billion bus iness, $18 billion of which is footwear alone. Women have been outspendi ng men when it comes to sports and athletic apparel since 1991 (Betancourt, 2003). In 2003, women spent more than $15.7 billion on sports apparel, compared with the $13.2 billion sp ent by men (Guynn, 2004). The NBA and WNBA have moved forward with design, production and sales of clothes and accessories for women, including bathing suits, pajamas and jewelry (H oward-Cooper, 2006). Said Lisa Piken, senior director of the NBA global merchandising group, "I ts one of those things where we never really marketed to women before. There has been a t on of women fans and t ons of interest. If you create merchandise for them, they will buy it (Howard-Cooper, 2006, p. 1). Sporting equipment companies are capitalizi ng on female growth as well. Until now, female tennis players have had to play with racq uets that were unisex but with smaller grips or lighter weight (Fleetwood, 2006) In the last two years, Wilson Sporting Goods, Head and Fischer, all major tennis brands, have released lines of racquets designe d specifically for women (Fleetwood, 2006).
21 Tennis is not the only sport with female-focused equipment availa ble; in fact, it is actually behind many other sports that have created equipment for the female physique (Fleetwood, 2006). In 1996, Adidas released so ccer cleats designed to fit a fe males feet. In addition to creating racquets, Head is among a number of co mpanies that offer skis for women (Fleetwood, 2006). Bicycle manufacturers are increasingly engineering female-t ailored bikes, and there are weight benches contoured for the female body (SGB, 2005). However, golf brands including Callaway and TaylorMade, have made clubs and other equipment designed for women for a long time (Fleetwood, 2006). According to Lisa Johnson and Andrea Learned, authors of Dont Think Pink "Reaching women consumers is not a trend. Its a lucrative future, for anyone who grabs it. Slightly tweaked male-oriented products or marketing efforts will no longer do (SGB, 2005). Paralleling the growth in female-designed spor ting equipment and the belief in the female sporting market, there have been several attempts in the last decade to create sports magazines specifically targeted to female athletes. Unfort unately, most of these magazines have folded due to the publishers confusion over wh at a female athlete actually wants to read (Keller, 2002). Perhaps the most well known womens sports magazine, Sports Illustrated Women closed after only two years of existence (Kelle r, 2002). Failed publications claim that it is very difficult to gain readership for a female-oriented sports ma gazine because most women stop paying attention to sports after they graduate from their respec tive educational institutions (Keller, 2002). When SI Women closed, critics claimed that they failed becau se they tried to please too many types of readers (Keller, 2002). In addition to the existence, (or lack thereof) of womens athlete-fo cused magazines, there are also many more popular fitn ess and lifestyle magazines curr ently on the market. The three fitness magazines that have the highest circulation are Shape Fitness and Self, respectively (Standard Rate & Data Service, 2007). Thes e magazines do not provi de any coverage of
22 womens sporting events. Instead, they provide headlines such as Celebrities Work Their Abs and Wine Country Cycling (Lynn et al., 2004). Feminists have long cr iticized magazines like this for their emphasis on being self-conscious a nd achieving the socially constructed ideal body image (Lynn et al., 2004). Despite obstacles that female sports magazine s have faced, more and more advertisers and marketers are coming to the realization that wo mens sports could prove to be a lucrative business. Many companies are targeting female at hletes participating in team sports such as basketball, softball and lacrosse appealing to todays team pl ayers via grassroots efforts, collegiate sponsorships and i nnovative gear (SGB, 2005). In the case of womens golf, marketers ar e sponsoring a wide range of up and-coming females who are trying to make names and brands for themselves (Fitzgerald, 2007). "To grow, we need to introduce female golfers to a much broader media audience," says Carolyn Bivens, the commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (Fitzgeral d, 2007). Marketers are recognizing the importance of putting these females into mainstream entertainment including talk shows, general magazines, fashion magazines and catalogs (F itzgerald, 2007). In addition to just TV, the LPGA is trying to reach out to a younger audience by making its events available via Internet, cell phone and iPod as well (Chozick, 2006). In reviewing the history of females in sport a nd the sports industry, it becomes clear that females play a large role in the success and a dvancement of sport. While many mens sports have reached parity, womens sports continue to grow and provide opportunity for brands and advertisers alike. Females have come a long way in their efforts to reach equality with men in the world of sport. It seems that marketers and advertisers have rec ognized this lucrative opportunity, but does their advertisin g portray female athletes as e qual to their male counterparts or do they still display them as inferior physical ly and emotionally? This study will specifically
23 examine pairs of print advertising for sports products in order to begin to uncover running themes and differences in how adve rtisers target women and men. The theories of capitalist hegemony, commodity feminism and social learning th eory will be utilized in order to shed light on gender difference in media and in sport. Capitalist Hegemony In order to address the of ten-complicated issue of capit alist hegemony, we must first delineate a simple definition of the term hegemony and briefly explore its history. The word hegemony comes from the Greek word hegemon meaning leader, guide, or ruler (Barker, 2004, p. 164). Its general definition r efers to the rule or influenc e of one country over others, but can also refer to how a group of elements ar e organized (Barker, 2004, p. 164). According to Femia (1981), treatment and use of hegemony is generally marred by con ceptual vagueness; it has become one of those fashionable catchword s which is often invoke d but seldom properly defined or submitted to close scrutiny (p. 23) The idea was developed by Italian theorist, Antonio Gramsci, amidst the time of Marxist id eals; Gramsci held that hegemony was necessary to control the ideology of the masses (Gramsci, 1971). Gramsci held that the dominant class must establish its own moral, political, and cult ural values as conventio nal norms of practical behavior (Gramsci, 1971; Femia, 1981, p. 3). Th erefore, men maintain their status as the dominant class through gaining soci etal consent rather than physic al force. Society sees gender roles as commonsense. Drawing on Gramscis concept of hegemony, many researchers have explored how the media can be used as an ideological tool th at manipulates the masses (Morley, 1992; Cruz & Lewis, 1994; Gramsci, 1971). The media can be used as a way of culti vating the ideas, norms and values of an individual in order to create a world view that will meet the needs of the dominant or ruling class (Gra msci, 1971; Moores, 1993). Laclau and Mouffe (1985) expanded
24 on Gramscis beliefs and argued that connections among groups in a society are constructed and maintained, not naturally present. They held that relationships among gr oups are a conceptual and socially constructed occu rrence (Laclau & Mouffe, 1985; Bocock, 1986). In other words, the relationship between males and females in a so ciety is not just a natural occurrence; instead, agents such as the media create and reinforce our conception of a male and females role in society; hegemony is how our patr iarchal society is maintained. Some American scholars have built upon this concept and coined the term cap italist hegemony to describe how hegemony applies to American society. Scholars spanning a myriad of fields have al l agreed that sexual difference, known as a facet of capitalist hegemony, is heavily present in the media and advertising in the United States (Lynn et al., 2002; Artz & Murphy, 2000; Goldma n, et al., 1991). These same scholars have recognized the manipulation of gender roles that occurs in American media and advertising (Artz & Murphy, 2000). Capitalist hegem ony serves to preserve the gender gaps in the United States and creates universally accepted im ages of what gender relations and roles should be. Using a metaphor of the original ideas of hegemony, wo men in the United States are the subordinate class, while men are the dominant class. Tuch man summed it up when she said that women and girls have been symbolically annihilated, mean ing that they have been rendered powerless, by media images of what is considered the idea l American life (Tuchman, 1978). Instead, as Goldmans research shows, women are forced into thinking that femininity is equal to feminism. The media force women to crave femi ninity, or attractivenes s and availability to men, and this keeps them from seeking real power in feminism (Goldman et al., 1991). In addition to examining Gramscis theory of hegemony and the process of framing, most image or language based gender studies also pull from different facets of feminism (Goffman, 1979; Goldman, 1991; Lynn et al., 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). Feminism seeks to achieve female
25 equality with men on all levels. It is through both framing and the use of commodity feminism that hegemony is reinforced. Feminism The term feminism has become a common pa rt of everyday discourse that most people assume to simply mean equality (Beasley, 19 99). However, the idea of feminism is multifaceted, entailing a wide variety of approaches. To state an exact definition of feminism is near impossible, as each individual will define it di fferently (Beasley, 1999). There are boundaries, however, of what feminists can agree on; for example, all feminists would agree that traditional social and political thought is inadequate (Beasley, 1999). Ther e is also an agreement on how social and political thought is inadequate. Th e strategy of how to go about changing traditional thought, however, is where the lines get fuzzy (Beas ley, 1999). Overall, feminist theories aim to understand the origins and continuing nature of womens nearly universal devaluation in society, while the Feminist movement seeks to reverse this occurren ce and to reconstruct society in a way that would make men and wo men equals (Steeves, 1987, p. 96). Initially, feminism sought to achieve political and econom ic equality but has since moved to achieve social equality with men. Several branches of feminism have spawne d since its beginnings in the late 1700s, and their views can differ greatly (Beasley, 1999). Marxist and Social feminists claim all oppression to be a product of social and econom ic structures (Barker, 2004, p. 144). While Marxist feminists believe class oppression to be the primary and sole source of inequality, socialist feminists view patr iarchy as an equally important contributor (S teeves, 1987). Patriarchy, according to Hargreaves (1982) i mplies a fixed state of male oppression over women, rather than a fluid relationship between men and women (p. 115) Radical Feminism focuses on sexual oppression and mens manipulati on of womens sexuality while claiming that
26 unequal power relations within capitalism ar e derived from patriarchy (Beasley, 1999). However, it is less concerned with explaini ng this occurrence and more concerned with developing radical alternatives to solve the problem (Steeves, 1987). Very little mass media research has been done using radi cal feminist theory (Steeves, 1987). Liberal Feminism has had perhaps the most influence on what we know as feminism in the United States (Elshtain, 1981; Jaggar, 1983; Steeves, 1987). Liberal feminists ho ld that rational mental development is the highest human ideal and that the state should act to assure equa l opportunities for all (Steeves, 1987, p. 100). Therefore, most liberal feminists focus on creating or chan ging laws that will promote womens professional and intellectual growth and equality (Steeves, 1987). Historical liberal feminists fought for rights such as wome ns suffrage, property ownership, equal pay, and equal employment. Some liberal fe minists believe that gender inequ ity is just the result of an irrational prejudice that could be solved th rough rational thinking and discussion, while still others hold that the inequity is a result of imitating individuals of the same sex or of reinforcement history (Steeves, 1987). Together, these branches of feminism have proposed a myri ad of solutions to the gender inequity problem. Marxists believe economic tr ansformation must be a pr erequisite for social change, while some socialists believe the media have sole power to create or change culture (Steeves, 1987). Still, others believe women n eed to create their own media where they can speak freely and create their own language in order to change society (Steeves, 1987). Regardless of ones proposed so lution, it is obvious that the ge nder inequity problem remains unsolved. Researchers have adopt ed different forms of feminism in order to explain gender difference in modern media. Goldman (1991) combin ed the beliefs of severa l facets of feminism in order to explain gender difference in me dia images. He called his theory commodity feminism.
27 Commodity Feminism Goldmans 1991 study brought the term and concept of commodity feminism to light. Goldman uses this term to refer to the media s union of femininity a nd feminism as one. Marketers have turned the progressive notion of feminism into a more hegemonically-friendly idea (Goldman et al., 1991). The ideals of femi nism such as individual freedom, personal power and gender equality have instead been turned into a focus on a females appearance. Therefore, following the ideals of capitalis t hegemony, a females greates t achievement would be to transform into a perfect, thin, and overly produced, sexy woman only then will she attain independence and great personal achievement (Goldman et al., 1991). The use of commodity feminism throughout advertising takes important lif e goals that have take n American ancestors centuries to achieve and turns them into simple, petty, and individua listic lifestyle goals such as flattening ones tummy or looking be tter in a bikini. Goldman hol ds that advertisings use of commodity feminism portrays self-fetishism as a pathway to self-empowerment (Goldman et al., 1991). Goldman (1991) compares the medias effort s to bridge the gap between feminism and femininity to a marriage of two ideals. The media manipulate the ideals of feminism into something that sells products: femininity. The commercial marriage of feminism and femi ninity plays off a conception of personal freedom located in the visual constructi on of self-appearance. Body and sexuality emerge as coincidental signs: the body is something you shape, control and dress to validate yourself as an autonomous being cap able of will power and discipline; and sexuality appears as something women exerci se by choice rather th an because of their ascribed gender role. The properly sh aped female body is taken as evidence of achievement and self-worth (p. 338). The most important facet of commodity femi nism is the existence and reinforcement of sexual difference in advertising, in the media, a nd in society in general. American society reinforces that women can only gain power by ac hieving and maintaining their ideal, feminine
28 body (Lynn, et al., 2004). Some scholars have pred icted that the image of the new, sexy and feminine athlete is just the ne west form of commodity femini sm. The equation used now is strong = feminine/sexy (Lynn et al., 2004). This is extremely evident in cases like that of female athlete, Anna Kournikova. Now an internati onal sex symbol, most pe ople know Kournikova as that hot tennis star. However, in actualit y, Kournikova is a mediocre tennis player who has won few championships. What she does have is an attractive, ideal body that men and women alike crave. Her body, not her at hletic prowess, has allowed her music video cameos and photo spreads in magazines of all kinds. Most wome n, however, view Kournikova as a star female athlete. Commodity feminism reinforces the idea that attractive female athletes like Anna Kournikova are powerful, strong, and independent because of their attr activeness, not their athletic talent (M cCarthy, 2003). Based on facets of hegemony, framing and commodity feminism, this thesis aims to uncover gender difference in the advertising of two different types of magazines. A content analysis will be conducted in order to determin e whether or not the advertising in womens health and fitness magazines contains more ge nder difference than th at of womens athletefocused magazines. In light of the extreme grow th the female sports industry has experienced, it is necessary to determine whether or not the imag es of females within th e advertising of these athlete-focused magazines has deve loped into truly athlete-focused content or if it has simply reinforced gender stereotypes. Social Learning Theory The final theory that will serve as backgr ound for this study is that of social cognitive theory or social learning. Th e theory of social learning furt her contributes to our understanding of gendered stereotypes being perp etuated within the media. The theory aims to predict and explain how we learn to behave socially through use of a th ree-prong model comprised of a
29 persons behavior; cognitive, biological and ot her personal factors; and finally, external consequences of the persons behavior (Bandur a, 1994). Social learni ng theory retains the behaviorist basis of reward and punishment but al so extends this to include an emphasis on the roles of other people as agents of reinforcem ent (Howard & Hollander, 1997, p. 45). Social learning theorists hold that as we develop, we continuously refine [our] conceptions of the sorts of behavior society consider s appropriate or inappropriat e (Perry & Bussey, 1984, p. 9; Bandura, 1977; Mischel, 1973). According to th e theory, most behaviors are learned by watching others actions and then combining th ese observances to decide future behaviors (Bandura, 1994; Bandura, 1977). Children base thei r judgments on a number of things including punishment and rewards from parents, consequences others receive, and verbal instruction from the people that surround them daily (parents, te achers, peers, etc.) (Perry & Bussey, 1984). People will naturally perform behaviors that bring positive consequences and are compatible with societal expectations (Bandura, 1994). Th e media plays a largely influential role in establishing these expectations, as it provides endless symbolic im ages that society will naturally imitate (Bandura, 1977; Bandura, 1994). These sym bolic models can include television actors, movie stars, celebrities, and magazine models. Verbal and visual symbolic modeling in f ilms, television, magazines, and newspapers, allows attitudes, emotional res ponses, and new styles of conduct to be formed (Bandura, 1977, p. 39). While it is very likely that women learn femininity from symbolic modeling seen in the media, this doesnt mean that these symbol s are simply forced on them (Bandura, 1994). Instead, social learning is governed by four s ubfunctions: attention, be havioral, retention and motivation (Bandura, 1994). Attention processes determine what is selectively perceived and what is interpreted from the symbolic modeli ng (Bandura, 1994, p. 68). Behavioral processes involve translating and reproduc ing modeled behaviors (Bandura, 1994). Retention processes
30 then changes and restructures the information. The final step is motivation, and because people do not perform every behavior they learn, incentiv es govern whether the be havior is performed (Bandura, 1977). Social learning theory has been extensivel y applied to understandi ng gendered behaviors and how gender differences are formed (Howar d & Hollander, 1997). Social learning theory suggests that gender is someth ing to be constantly modele d and reinforced (Howard & Hollander, 1997, p. 47). As Lott and Maluso (199 3) stated, the gender socialization process (the transforming of sex into ge nder) is not confined to the early years bu t continues throughout life (p. 99). To conclude, the media play a large role in disseminating messages that individuals pay attention to, retain and then if the motivation is there, imitate. Those who lack confidence and self-esteem, who are dependent, and who have b een frequently rewarded for imitativeness are especially prone to adopt the behavior of succe ssful models (Bandura, 1977, p. 89). As part of the mass media, advertising is often blamed fo r many negative messages in society today. Using the theories of capitalis t hegemony, commodity feminism and social learning as a foundation, this study will examine pairs of print a dvertisements for sports products in order to begin to uncover running themes and differences in how advertisers ta rget women and men. Next, we will explore previous research that is relevant to the research topic.
31 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter will review the literature releva nt to the topic of gender difference within sports media. Following a brief overview of th e medias relationship with the female sporting industry, this review will discuss re levant literature pertaining to stereotypical portrayals of male and female athletes within news media, gender portrayals within adver tising and then finally, gender portrayals in sports advertising specifically. The literature reviews purpose is to map the previous research in order to delineate how this study fits within the ove rall terrain. It also provides a critique of the body of literature on th e topic in order to s how how this study will contribute to the overa ll body of knowledge. Emphasis on sexual difference is believed to be one of the main reasons that women are still seemingly portrayed as in ferior to men in the media (Lynn, Hardin & Walsdorf, 2004). Sexual difference, sometimes referred to as g ender difference, really goes beyond simple stereotyping because it implies that women are nat urally inferior to men when it comes to their athletic ability (Lynn et al., 2004). Socially formulated differe nces, such as female portrayals as sex objects or as less competitive, are presented as being a natural occurrence, just like biological differences (Lynn, Walsdorf & Hardin, 2002). One can easily detect sexual differences when examining how a female is framed in an ad containing a woman involved in sports. She is often seen participating in a spor t that is non-contact, pretty or feminine, and she is framed as a passive and emotional par ticipant (Duncan, 1990). Kane ar gues, Focusing primarily on her gender role rather than her athletic ability and accomplishments, the media will not let the reader/viewer forget old stereotypes a nd stigmas (Kane, 1989). This biased portrayal of fe male athletes makes womens involvement in sports seem illegitimate. The medias framing of female athlet es first deprives them of their power within the
32 sports industry but furthermore, strips them of their power within soci ety in general (Cohen, 1993). Many scholars hold that this emphasis on sexual difference reinforces and feeds capitalist hegemony in the United States, which further rein forces a patriarchal hierarchy (Lynn, et al., 2004). Advertising is said to pl ay a major role in the reinfor cement of capitalist hegemony due to its portrayal of often-ster eotypical gender roles as well as its emphasis on consumerism (Lynn, Hardin & Walsdorf, 2004). Advertising has b een accused of co-opting progressive social movements in order to sell products, in particul ar for co-opting feminism (Goldman, Heath, & Smith, 1991). However, most gender-based sport re search that focuses on the medias role in reinforcing stereotypes has focused on news media and more specifically, on the Olympics. Stereotypical Gender Portrayals in the News Media Title IX Coverage Despite the exponential growth experienced in all aspects of the female sports industry, sport news media, in general, have been ve ry slow to capitalize on this growth. Most newspapers and sports magazines either complete ly ignore women or frame them in a way that emphasizes sexual difference (Duncan, 1990). Lane (1998) examined how the media framed the controversy of Tile IX through analysis of the Washington Post and the New York Times from 1971-1975. Lane (1998) held that the passage of Title IX gave the media an opportunity to redefine womens place in the world of athletics and to establish their place in that world as legitimate. However, findings showed that cove rage largely favored th e concerns of the NCAA and what Title IX would do to mens sports, wh ile largely disregarding womens concerns about discrimination and why Title IX was indeed necessary (Lane, 1998). Lane found that by focusing on the extremes and trivializing the Title IX movement, the media framed Title IX as deviant and a threat to hegemony; as a result, important issues that Title IX stood for could be easily dismissed (Lane, 1998, p. 6)..
33 Huffman, Tuggle and Rosengard (2004) examined campus media and assessed whether Title IX had translated into equal coverage of men and womens sports. Findings answered their question with a resounding no, as they discovered that male athlete and even t coverage in college newspapers mirrored that of national media, w ith 72.7% of their stories pertaining to males (Huffman et al., 2004). This pa ralleled the amount of male cove rage in campus television as well (81.5%). On a more positive note, they did determine that the coverage of female sports that was given was of an equal quality to that of its male counterpart s (Huffman et al., 2004). National and Professional Sports Media A variety of research has b een conducted focusing on majo r network sport coverage and professional sport commentary. Tuggles (1997) study of two na tional sports shows, ESPNs SportsCenter and CNNs Sports Tonight, showed that only 5% of airtime was devoted to womens athletics. Furthermore, in a 2002 replication of this study, Adams and Tuggle discovered that even with the establishment of two womens professional sports leagues, the media coverage in fact decreased since the last study (Adams & Tuggle, 2004). In a study of televised sports news on thr ee network affiliates and ESPNs SportsCenter, Messner, Duncan and Cooky (2003) examined the qua lity and quantity of televised coverage of womens sports. Their dominant finding, in agreement with th e findings of Adams and Tuggle (2004) dwelled on the lack of change in coverage over the last decade. According to the study, womens sports are still "missing in action" on th e news and now possess even less of a presence on SportsCenter (Messner et al ., 2003). Findings showed that broadcasters chose to devote a considerable proportion of almost non-existent coverage of womens sports to humorous feature stories on nonserious womens sports (Messner et al., 2003). The researchers concluded that instead of leading or promoting womens sports, broadcasters have chosen to simply follow them but only in a cautious manner (Messner et al., 2003).
34 Based on disparities found in previous studi es focusing on how males and females were displayed by on-air commentators, Billings, Angelini and Eastman (2005) examined gender differences in professional golf telecasts. In an examination of 243.5 hours of both PGA and LPGA broadcasts, researchers found two-dozen critical differences in how men and women were portrayed. Differences include d the finding that women were more likely than men to be described in terms of why they succeeded or failed, while men we re more likely than women to be portrayed as having personality or physical attr ibutes (Billings et al., 2005). Billings et al. (2005) found such marked differences in the way male and female golfers [were] portrayed on television that one wonders wh ether sportscasters recognize th at PGA and LPGA players are engaged in the very same activity (Billings, Angelini & Eastman, 2005, p. 169). However, unlike most previous studies that found women were more likely to be depicted as being physically weak, Billings et al. (2005) found that golf broadcasts exemplified a new stereotype of women those that only achieve because they ar e lucky, not because they are good at the sport. Building on the study of media representation of women in sports, Bruce (1998) took a different approach and inves tigated how womens basketball fans interpreted the medias representation of the game, specifically, televi sions representation. Bruce conducted in-depth interviews with fans and found that watching televised basketball was often frustrating for viewers who encountered represen tations that did not reflect their experiences or desires but, instead, devalued, trivialized, and stereotyped women athletes (Bruce, 1998). On a positive note, Bruce found that rather th an accepting and internalizing th ese stereotypical messages, as most research has assumed, fans instead activel y challenged the televisi on representations and proceeded to create their own positive, interpretations. Bruce also discovered that many viewers attempts to enjoy televised womens basketball we re demoralized by poor visual production and commentary (Bruce, 1998).
35 A small amount of research has focused on gender difference in sport magazines. In recognition of runnings genderneutral and uniquely egalit arian reputation, Hardin, Dodd and Chance (2005) investigated the magazine Runners World in order to determine if it was exempt from the typical margina lization and exclusion of female athletes (p. 40). Results of a content analysis of editorial photo images in Runners World during 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001 showed that while it did provi de an adequate proportion of women in its photos, notions of sexual difference continued to be reinforced (Hardin, Dodd & Chance, 2005). This was done through emphasis on women being passive, less active, and less likely to compete (Hardin, Dodd & Chance, 2005, p. 48). Intercollegiate Sport Media A growing amount of research has been c onducted examining college sports. A large chunk of this research has focused on basketball, pe rhaps because it is one of the few sports that most universities have for both genders. In an e ffort to explore the extent to which mass media coverage of men and womens s ports reflect the broader gender ideology of society, Blinde, Greendorfer and Shanker (1991) content analyz ed verbal commentary of men and womens college basketball (p. 98). Four main findings emerged: (1) the mens game and performances were used as a standard of comparison for the womens games, (2) the womens game only qualified as womens basketball, not simply b asketball, (3) non-parall el and sexist language was utilized in describing the female athletes, an d (4) expectations of physicality and athleticism vastly differed between the two genders (Blinde Greendorfer & Shanker, 1991). Their findings simply reinforced that sport is commonly thought to be a male activity and commentators treat womens participation in sport as less legitimat e than that of the men (Blinde, Greendorfer & Shanker, 1991).
36 A little more than 10 years later, in an examination of broadcast commentary during the 2000 Mens and Womens National Collegiate Athl etic Association Fina l Four tournament games, Billings, Halone and Denham (2002) asse ssed the frequency and degree to which genderbased evaluations described athl etic performance by men and wo men. A content analysis of 2,367 lines of broadcast commentary revealed significant differences. While men were described primarily in terms of physicality and at hleticism, female athletes were evaluated in terms of personality, looks and appearance, and background. Results also revealed that the mens games generated significantly more li nes of broadcast commentary than did the womens games (Billings et al., 2002). Furthe rmore, male commentators monopolized most of the airtime, even in the pres ence of female sportscasters, in both mens and womens games (Billings et al., 2002). While others have examined text and verbal commentary in college sports, Buysse and Embser-Herbert (2004) examined the existence of gender differen ce in intercollegiate athletics by analyzing the U.S.-based National Collegiat e Athletic Association's media guide cover photographs. Findings revealed that females were less likely to be portrayed as ac tive in a sport and more likely to be portrayed in passive or feminine poses (Buysse and Embser-Herbert, 2004). The results of this study suggest that while one would expect less gender stereotyping from the sports teams themselves, intercollegiat e athletic programs rein force gender stereotypes in ways similar to that of the mass media (Buysse and Embser-Herbert, 2004). Wann, Schrader, Allison, and McGeorge (1998) extended previous research on gender equity in an examination of media coverage of at hletics in the sports sec tions of three universitysponsored newspapers. Factors examined incl uded the number of male and female authors, number of articles focusing on male and female athletics, number of lines focusing on male and female athletics, and number of photos focusi ng on male and female athletes (Wann, Schrader,
37 Allison, and McGeorge, 1998). Findings showed th at mens athletics received more coverage than womens athletics and that the proportion of female coverage was less than both the proportion of female students enrolled and female va rsity sports offered at the sample institutions (Wann, Schrader, Allison, and McGeorge, 1998). These inequities were even more evident at the two larger universities in the sample (Wann, Schrader, Allison, and McGeorge, 1998). Olympic Media Coverage Although several forms of broadcast sport, both intercollegiate and professional, have been examined under the gender lens, no event has been studied and scrutinized for its stereotyping as much as the Olympics (Billings et al., 2005). Higgs and Weiller (1994) conducted a study that examined the amount and content of coverage of male vs. female events on NBC during the 1992 Olympics. Specifically, they examined broadcast time devoted to womens and mens basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, track and field and other sports (Higgs & Weiller, 1994). Their analysis of each individual sport evaluated the announcers use of strength and weakness descriptors to characterize women and me n athletes and the nature of the narratives used to describe women and men competitors (Higgs & Weiller, 1994, p. 234). Findings suggested that while women were given more cove rage in reference to in dividuals sports, that coverage was cut into shorter, heavily edited segments. Higgs and Weiller (1994) discovered that commentators often relied on gender st ereotypes, biased reporting, and a focus on personalities when covering womens sports, greatly ignoring women s physical ability. Coverage of mens sports however tended to focus on physical ability (Higgs & Weiller, 1994). In an effort to discover if improvements were made over the previous four years, Higgs, Weiller and Martin (2003) examined television coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta and considered the amount of coverage time and the quality of coverage in order to compare the coverage with that of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. Only segments that
38 featured same-sport activities for men and wome n were included in the analysis. Variables considered included quantitative measure such as running time, length of segments, number of slow motion replays, and use of onscreen statistics, as well as qua litative measures such as the narrative of the commentators (Higgs et al, 2003 ). Findings suggested improvements in the way female athletes were presen ted in the 1996 Olympic Games as compared to the 1992 Olympic Games (Higgs et al., 2003). These improvements in cluded quantitative measures such as length of segments and running time. However, qualitati ve analysis of commenta ry revealed continuing disparities in the coverage of womens sports, no ting that these disparities are especially evident in those sports that traditionally appeal to the media audience (Higgs et al., 2003). Eastman and Billings (1999) conducted th e first longitudinal study of Olympic announcing, examining the 1994, 1996, and 1998 Games. Results showed that commentators were more likely to discuss women in terms of attractiveness and men in terms of physicality (Eastman & Billings, 1999). Later studies of the 2000 and 2002 games reported that men were more likely to have their success attributed to athletic skill and commitment, while women were more likely to have their failing attributed to l ack of experience within the sport (Billing & Eastman, 2002, 2003). Tuggle and Owen (1999) continued to expa nd our understanding of womens Olympic coverage in their examination of the Cent ennial Olympic Games. The study focused on coverage given to womens events and female athletes by NBC during the 2000 Olympic Games (Tuggle & Owen, 1999). Content analysis showed that while women were covered extensively, their coverage concentrated mainly on individu al sports (i.e. swimmi ng, diving, and gymnastics) and mostly excluded team events (Tuggle & Owen, 1999). Male team events received a significantly larger amount of coverage than their female counterparts (Tuggle & Owen, 1999).
39 Female participation in sports that involved po wer or hard physical co ntact between athletes received almost no coverage at all (Tuggle & Owen, 1999). In addition to verbal broadcasts, content analys is has also been conducted for print media. Jones, Murrell & Jackson (1999) content analyzed 769 passages of print media describing gold medal winning contests for four U. S. wome ns teams in the 1996 Olympics (basketball, gymnastics, soccer, and softball) and the U.S. womens hockey team in the 1998 Olympics (Jones et al., 1999, p. 182). Dimensions considered included task releva nce and use of gender stereotypes within the passage (Jones et al., 19999). Findings re vealed that female athletes competing in typically male sports were often described through use of co mments that had little to do with sports or the athletes performance (Jones et al., 1999). Print coverage of female athletes in typically female sports focused mo re on performance but still reinforced female stereotypes. Kinnick (1998) also researched gender bias in the media during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Kinnick (1998) inves tigated newspaper coverage of ma le and female athletes through an examination of profiles of athlet es in five leading U.S. newspapers: USA Today The New York Times The Los Angeles Times The Washington Post The Atlanta Constitution These profiles were then examined for presence of gende r bias in both their re porting and photography. Kinnick found evidence of some gend er bias; however, for some crite ria, such as page layout and article prominence, female athletes actually re ceived similar or even more favorable treatment than the male athletes. No evidence of gende r bias was found in reference to the quantity of representation of female athletes, or in the place ment and prominence of th e selected profiles. This could imply that editors of these newspapers have recogn ized and sought to capitalize on the growing popularity of women in sport. Ki nnick was confident that these findings could
40 suggest improvement in levels of gender bias fo und by previous studies of media coverage of female athletes. On a more global scale, Capranica et al. (2005) examined press coverage of female Olympian athletes in the largest circulating Belg ian, French, Italian and Danish daily newspapers during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Variables cons idered included number of articles, size, page placement, accompanying photographs, and photogra ph size (Capranica et al., 2005). While only 29.3% of the articles and 38% of photos were of women s sports, this mirrored the proportion of female participants and events (Capranica et al., 2005). No significant gender differences were found in reference to article size, page placement, accompanying photographs, or photograph size (Capranica et al., 2005). Re searchers attributed their findings to the International Olympic Committees actions to prom ote increased participation of women in sport activities and to publicize their achievements (Capranica et al ., 2005). This may indicate that the emphasis of gender difference and lack of women s coverage is not a global occurrence, but instead is mostly evident in the United States. In recognition of the vast amount of conten t analysis research done on Olympic coverage and commentary and the lack of quantitative, empirical resear ch, Knight and Giuliano (2001) took the study of gender one step further and also incorporated audience reactions using a 2 x 2 between subjects experimental design. Ninety-t wo subjects were given a fictitious newspaper profile about an Olympic athlete in which the article focused on either the athlete's attractiveness (like most female coverage) or the athlete's athl etic ability (like most male coverage) (Knight & Giuliano, 2001). Participants neither had favor able impressions of nor liked articles about female and male athletes when attractiveness was the main focus of an article (Knight & Giuliano, 2001). These findings sugg est that the media should be mi ndful of how male or female athletes are often portrayed in te rms of personal or physical attribut es rather than their athletic
41 abilities. Not only is this damaging to the athletes them selves, but if it is turning audiences off, it may be hurting profits as well. Gender Portrayals in Advertising It is difficult to deny that the advertisi ng industry has a large e ffect on our culture. Advertising also has an impact on what is acceptabl e and unacceptable in terms of gender roles, responsibilities, and behaviors (Plous & Ne ptune, 1997). Advertisem ents implicitly and explicitly delineate how advertisers themselves believe society views, accepts, and romanticizes gender (Klassen, Jasper & Schwartz, 1993). It sh ould be no surprise that sexual difference is present in American advertising, as research findi ngs have demonstrated th is standard since the 1970s (Belknap & Leonard, 1991). Gender, Advertising and Frame Analysis It would impossible to continue the discussion of female portr ayal in advertising without addressing the research done by scholar, Erving Goffman. In the mid-1970s, Goffman made an influential contribution to the study of gender by creating a met hod known as frame analysis for coding advertisements when examining the por trayal of gender in ads. His method was largely based on the concept of media fram ing, an approach long used by communication practitioners to uncover mass co mmunication effects. Goffman held that when it came to advertising, images were the most powerful tool used and should be clos ely examined (Goffman, 1979). His coding method, frame anal ysis, is essentially a way of coding how the characters and products are displayed in an ad. Frame analys is helps to unveil how images in an ad are transmitting and reinforcing stereotypes. Goffman examines the subtleties of images in order to reveal how they are reinforcing what society has been taught is acceptable and expected gender behavior (Goffman, 1979). Goff man established several categoric al variables to aid in the determination of the presence of sexual difference (Table 2-1).
42 Table 2-1. Goffman Categorical Variables Variable Description Relative Size Height or girth of males vs. females in image Feminine Touch Use of female fingers or hands to outline, cradle or caress an object; self-touching Function Ranking Occupational role shown, etc (i.e. teacher vs. learner) The Family How family is portrayed; fathers physical position in relation to rest of family; shown with sons vs. daughters Ritualization of Subordination Lowering oneself physically, male vs. female elevation; poses; childlike gestures Licensed Withdrawal Women removing themselves psychologically from a situation, therefore leaving them depe ndent on protection from men Goffman characterized ads as portraying a re lationship that mirrored the parent-child relationship: the man is always the parent, whil e the female is the child (Goffman, 1979). Reliance on the child-parent complex as a s ource of display imagery is a means of extending intimate comfortable practices outward from their source to the world, and in the wake of this domestication female subordination follows. Any scene, it appears, can be defined as an occasion for the depiction of gender difference, and in any scene a resource can be found for affecting this display (p. 9). Kang (1997) found that stereotypes continue to persist in modern day advertising through her use of Goffmans frame analysis. She examined advertisements in three top-circulation magazines from the years 1979 to 1991 and found that advertising does not even give gender equality a chance. Most adve rtising displays either only wo men or only men. The lack of juxtaposition of males and females suggest s that the two cannot coexist equally. Gender Difference in Print Advertising While little research has been conducted with regards to sports print advertising, a variety of research has been done on print advertising in general. In an examination of Playboy, Newsweek and Ms. Klassen et al. (1993) found that wome n are often portrayed in traditional roles. These stereotypical tra ditional roles refer to womens being depicted as alluring and
43 decorative, performing traditiona l housewife roles, dependent on men, or as sex objects (Klassen et al., 1993). Using content analysis, Kla ssen established that 85% of images in Playboy and in Newsweek portrayed women in traditional roles, with Ms close behind with 71% (Klassen et al., 1993). Kang confirmed these findings in 1997 when she observed that in American advertising, women are typically portrayed in traditional roles su ch as the mother figure, or in other home or beauty roles (Kang, 1997). Furthe rmore, women in magazine adve rtisements are portrayed as weak, childish, dependent, domestic and subor dinate (Kang, 1997; Artz & Munger, 1999). Plous and Neptune (1997) content analyzed 10 years of fashion advertisements (1985 to 1994) and found an increase in skin display of females occurred during the time period. As can be expected, females also showed a greater amount of body exposure than males (Plous & Neptune, 1997). Results also showed that white women were portrayed in low-status positions more often than African American women. Th e researchers hypothesize d that these findings could suggest that the symbolic lowering of women identified by Goffman (1979) applies more to white women than to black women (Plous & Neptune, 1997). Koernig and Granitz (2006) focused on ge nder difference with regards to technology through a content analysis of ecommerce magazine ads. Results showed that women were in fact portrayed more equitable than previous re search had found. While males were included in e-commerce ads more often than women, the ads that did depict women did so in a way that accurately reflected the current positions of women in e-commerce pr oduction. Men and women were also depicted in equal pos itions of expertise, power, a nd authority regardless of the readership of the sample (Koernig & Granitz, 20 06). This very recent study suggests that the roles females and males are typically portrayed as playing may be converging. Kolbe and Albanese (1996) conducted one of the few studies focusing solely on the portrayal of men in advertis ing. The researchers honed in on how men are portrayed in
44 advertisements from magazines largely targeting men, including Business Week Esquire GQ Playboy Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated Sample advertisements came from every issue of these magazines published during 1993. Results reve aled that even in advertising targeting men, the male models used are not average, ordinary guys (Kolbe & Albanese, 1996). Instead, they possessed bodies of the traditional male icon strong and muscular (Kol be & Albanese, 1996). While very few of the male models made any ki nd of fashion statement, most wore conventional or conservative clothing such as casual wear or business suits, implying an upscale lifestyle (Kolbe & Albanese, 1996). Findi ngs suggested that objectificati on of men does occur, however this was not strongly emphasized in the sample of the study. Aloofness and detachment were frequently conveyed by turned heads and averted eyes (Kolbe & Albanese, 1996). Contrary to previous research, competency and physical dominance were not emphasized in the sample advertisements (Kolbe & Albanese, 1996). Findi ngs of this study suggest that females are not the only ones that are fed unrealistic images in advertising. Males are also frequently shown images of males with perfect bodi es and rich lifestyles, implying that to be real men, they too must look and act like the models of advertising. While content analysis has been the most popular method used in gender-based media studies, other methods have been used as well. Pingree, Hawkins, Butler, and Paisley (1976) held that research on media sexism depended too much on nominal variables and set out to formulate a scale of sexism to be used in future qualitative studies. The researchers felt that if they could find a method that told them how much sexism was present, not just when, where, and how often, then they could uncover truly meaningful results (Pingree et al., 1976). Pingree et al. (1976) thus created a scale c onsisting of five levels of sexism (See Figure 2-1). Pingree et al. (1976) applied this scale to advertisem ents within issues of Ms. Time Newsweek and Playboy They found that Ms. far surpassed the other three in presence of
45 women as the equals of men, ho wever 56% of the ads found in Ms. still presented women on the two most sexist levels of the scale. The resear chers theorized that as the media provide society with sexist messages, the audiences images of women are likely to be similar (Pingree et al., 1976). Finally, unlike most gender studies, Pingree et al. also briefly addre ssed the sexist images of men within advertising. A consciousness scale similar to that measuring the sexism with regard to women was formulated and future research suggested. Gender and Television Advertising In a very early study, Silverstein and Silver stein (1974) examined primetime television commercials on ABC, CBS and NBC in order to determine how different genders were portrayed, with a stronger focu s on the portrayal of women. They coded for a number of categories including role, occupa tion, physical appearance, ps ychological appearance, person needing/giving help, gave advice/given advice, frustration and type of product (Silverstein and Silverstein, 1974). Findings showed that stereotypical portrayals of women occurred regardless of the nature of the program. The nature of the program did however determine the type of products advertised (Silverste in and Silverstein, 1974). The use of female announcers was almost non-existent, unless the product being ad vertised was a household product (Silverstein and Silverstein, 1974). Women appear ed in the home at higher fr equencies than men (Silverstein and Silverstein, 1974). Men were more likely to be shown giving advi ce, while women were more likely to be given advice (Silverstein and Si lverstein, 1974). Findings also revealed that women were shown as subservien t abut eight times more ofte n than they were shown as dominant (Silverstein and Silver stein, 1974). These findings e xhibit the extremity of gender difference in the media that occurred over 30 years ago. However, many researchers today might say that little has changed, gender differen ce is simply exemplified in a more indirect way in the media of today.
46 In an exploration of gender stereotypes and how they apply to technology, White and Kinnick (2000) examined a sample of 352 primetime television commercials from 1998 in order to determine how women were portrayed usi ng technology. The study revealed that while women were pictured using comput ers just as frequently as men, they were more likely than men to be portrayed as clerical workers and less li kely to be portrayed as business professionals (White & Kinnick, 2000). Surprisingly however, wo men were statistically more likely than men to be portrayed as having competent computer skills (White & Kinnick, 2000). This mixed bag of results suggests that media portrayals of women in relati on to technology are improving, however undertones of gender difference co ntinue to underscore the progress. Many researchers have noted the common emph asis on body and sexuality have become a standard in television commercials. In an examination of MTV television commercials, Signorielli et al. (1994) found that 75% of women were portrayed as having fit and attractive bodies, while 75% of men were depicted as havi ng average bodies. As previously discussed, Kolbe and Albanese (1996) uncovered results co ntradictory to the average male body finding here. Furthermore, women in MTV commercials we re more likely than men to be portrayed in sexy or skimpy clothing, while men were portrayed in neutral clothing (Signiorelli et al., 1994). In a later study, Signiorelli (1997) found that in commercials aired during shows targeting adolescent girls, 32% of the female models were portrayed as thin or very thin. Women were also more commonly portrayed wearing under garments (sleepwear or lingerie) (Signiorelli, 1997). Gender in Sports Advertising There have only been a few st udies that have specifically examined sports advertising and the ways in which females are posed and displa yed. The most relevant study to this paper is the 2004 study done by Lynn, Hardin and Walsdorf. Lynn et al. examined the presentation of
47 advertising images in fo ur different womens spor t and fitness magazines: SI for Women Real Sports Shape and Women Sports and Fitness Strong support for sexual difference was uncovered in the fitness-oriented magazines ( Shape and Women Sports and Fitness ), but less gender difference was found in the mo re athlete-focused magazines ( SI for Women and Real Sports ). It was confirmed that ge nder stereotypes continue to be carried on even in femaleoriented sports advertising. Cuneen and Sidwell (1998) also conducted a sport-related study in which they focused on sexual difference displayed in ad images in Sports Illustrated for Kids Results showed that not only were men shown more often in ads, they were also shown in more prominent roles. When females were depicted, they were shown as non-pa rticipants or participan ts in more individual and aesthetic sports (i.e. ice-skat ing or gymnastics). Males, howev er, were shown as participants in team-oriented, strength sports (i.e. football, wrestling). Cuneen a nd Sidwells study drew from a central facet of Goffmans research: th e fact that sexual difference in advertising contributes to the social learning of what is ideal in terms of ones gender or what actually is. Lynn, Hardin, Hardin, and Walsdorf (2002) did a follow up study to Cuneen and Sidwells study, examining Sports Illustrated for Kids ads from the 1990s. Their findings confirmed that sexual difference is indeed present. Content analysis revealed th at girls and women were greatly underrepresented and pictured as spectators rather than particip ants (Lynn et al., 2002). The researchers speculated that adve rtisers targeting children in SIK do not understand or choose not to embrace the fact that females prefer to be depi cted as participants and not spectators (Lynn et al., 2002). Cuneen and Clausen (1999) put a slight va riation on the studies discussed thus far and continued the exploratio n of gender stereotyping in adver tising through examination of point-of-
48 purchase ads. Cuneen and Clausen summarized the state of gender advertising with the following conclusions: Gender stereotyping is still heavily present in sport advertising. If women are portrayed at all in sports adve rtising, they are participating in leisure or recreational and aesthetic activities. For the most part, women are not used in same -sex or team sport displays (i.e. baseball, soccer, basketball). If women are displayed as participating in a competitive sport, they are mostly shown alone (in individual activities). In sports advertising, men are port rayed far more often than women. Cuneen and Clausen came to these conclusions by examining ads in terms of gender difference and how these differences are portrayed as natural and just the way life is, rather than as socially constructed beliefs. In the realm of television Goodman, Duke and Sutherla nd (2002) conducted a study of television ads aired during the telecast of the 2000 NBC Summer Olympics featuring Olympian athletes. They analyzed the advertisers us e of gender-based concepts of heroism using traditional hero archetypes: the Innocent, Orpha n, Martyr, Wanderer, Warrior, and Magician (Goodman, et al., 2002). Findings showed that men and women were equally portrayed as Warriors, individuals with courage, disciplin e, and skill (Goodman et al., 2002). Males, however, were portrayed more often as successfu lly preparing for or doi ng battle (also referred to as Conquering Heroes) and seeking confr ontation or one-on-one competition (Goodman et al., 2002). Women were simply celebrated for thei r athletic skills and achievements independent of reference to competition or defeat of their opponents. Female Olympians were sexualized at times as well, while males were not (Goodman et al., 2002).
49 Overall, female athletes, conti nue to be marginalized and ev en ignored in the visual and auditory dimensions of broadcas t coverage, and the textual and photographic dimensions of print coverage. However, most research has focused on traditional media vehicles that target a more general audience. Little attenti on has been paid to female specifi c sports media and whether they too reinforce gender stereotypes. Limitations of Previous Studies Overall, most research seems to have consiste d of content analyses of news media, mainly broadcast news and newspapers. There has be en an abundance of res earch examining gender portrayals in a variety of media, both in the general sense, an d more specifically, in reference to the portrayal of the female athlete. Most of this research has focused on media targeting a general audience, while little has focused on me dia that target specifically female or male audiences. Furthermore, little research has investigated sports-relate d print advertising for gender difference. Even more specifi cally, no research has shed ligh t on gender difference in sports advertising that targets both males and females but with different advertisements. This study aims to fill this gap in the arena of sports advertising research. Study Contribution to the Field Sexual difference exists within almost every fa cet of American culture. Despite huge leaps in progress, women continue to be viewed as subordinates in a pa triarchal society. As the above review has exhibited, sexual diffe rence is especially evident in the sporting industry and more specifically, sports media vehicles. However, no previous research investigates gender difference through an examination of advertisements from brands that target males and females in different ways. More resear ch is necessary to discover the similarities and differences in methods used by marketers when targeting males vs. fe males. In an effort to begin that research,
50 this study utilizes a qualitative content analysis, while incorporating a femi nist perspective, in order to investigate the similarities and differences in the manner in which advertisers target males and females within magazine adve rtisements for sport-related products. In light of the advancements females in sport have made, females now play an important role in the advancement of sport, both in an at hletic sense and a monetary sense. Marketers differentiation of ads targeting males and females shows that they have realized the lucrative opportunities of the female sports industry and recognize that fema les play a large enough role to receive their own version of an ad. However, this also may imply that marketers dont think males and females to be equal in the realm of sp ort. As previous studies have shown, negative outcomes result when an audience does not iden tify with the media image/model they see (Silverstein & Silverstein, 1974; Bruce, 1998; Kn ight & Giuliano, 2001). In order for future researchers to determine whether audiences id entify with images and themes sport-product marketers utilize, we must first uncover the sim ilarities and differences in tactics used when targeting women vs. men. In addition to the uniqueness of the actual topi c, this study differs from previous research in its examination of several aspects of the presence of gender difference that have not previously been directly coded for within the realm of sports advertising. These categories include: Attractiveness/Beauty/Looks, Focus on body, Diet/weight loss, Nutrition, Power, Technology/Science/Innovation, Performance, Impr ovement, Confidence, Achievement, Use of Script Font, Emphasis of Ad Color, Produc t Specifics, Style, Color of Product, Engineered/Designed, and Emotional. An explana tion of the detailed meaning of each of these categories can be found in the following chapter. Furthermore, this study will attempt to determ ine if sport-product magazine advertising reflects the extreme advancements of women in spor t, or if they simply reinforce the same kinds
51 of gender stereotyping found in previous studies. I hope that the findings of this study will shed light on how advertisers and marketers tr eat gender in the context of sport. Level V Freedom from all stereotypes Level IV Level III Level II Level I Limited by stereotypes Figure 2-1: A Consciousness Scale for Medi a Sexism: Women (Pingree et al., 1976) Women and men as individuals Women and men must be equals Woman may be professional, but first place is home Womans place is in the home or in womanl y occu p ations Woman is a two-dimensional, non-thinking decoration
52 CHAPTER 3 METHOD As discussed in previous chapters, this study utilizes a qualitative content analysis, while incorporating a feminist perspec tive, in order to investigate the following research question: What are the similarities and differences in th e manner in which advertisers target males and females within magazine advertisements for s port-related products? This study will examine common themes and divergences conveyed in both visual and textual aspects of recent sport product ads. Qualitative Content Analysis This study employs a qualitative content analysis Quantitative content analysis translates frequency of occurrence of certa in symbols into summary judgme nts and comparisons of content of the discourse (Starosta, 1984, p. 185). Qualitativ e content analysis diffe rs from quantitative because it allows for latent meanings, themes a nd patterns, emergent categories, and in-depth semiotic analysis of images (Dreher, 1994). A ccording to Babbie (2004), qualitative analysis is the non-numerical examination and interpre tation of observations, for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships (p. 370). Qualitative analysis allows a reflexive and highly in teractive nature of the investigator, concepts, data collection, and analysis (Altheide, 1996, p. 16). The aim of quali tative content analysis is to be systematic and analytic but not rigid. Berg (1989) suggested that categories and variables guide the study at first, but others must be allowe d and expected to emerge throughout the analysis process. This thinking process allows an orientation toward constant discovery or constant comparison of situations, settings, styles, images, meanings and nuances (Berg, 1989; Altheide, 1996). Content analysis, both quantitative and quali tative, has been criticized by some scholars because of its lack of inclusion of the audien ces reactions and interp retations; however, most
53 researchers recognize content anal ysis as a successful way to study advertising messages (Leiss, Kline, & Jhatty, 1986). Accordi ng to Gerbner (1969), the practice of content analysis is more than just recording how many times certain words or images appear; the purpose of any analysis is to illuminate or to make possible inferences about something that is not otherwise apparent. Semiotics Inherent to the practice of qualitative content an alysis is the use of semiotics. Semiotics can serve as a powerful tool in uncovering the cultural significance of signs and their meanings. Perhaps one of the broadest defi nitions established, Umberto Eco stated that semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign (Eco, 1976, p. 7) In general terms, semiotics refers to the study of what we refer to as signs in everyday sp eech and also to anything which stands for something else (Chandler, 2005). Signs can take the fo rm of words, images, sounds, gestures and objects. Semiotics is often used in the analysis of texts, although this should not be confused with textual analysis A text can be verbal non-verbal, or both, but usually refers to a message that has been reco rded in some way, be it through writing, audio, or video recording (Chandler, 2005). Ov erall, a text is considered an assemblage of signs (can be words, images, sounds or gestures) that are constr ucted (and interpreted) with reference to the conventions associated with a genre and in a particular medium of communication (Chandler, 2005, p. 1). In the scope of this study, se miotic analysis will assist in the discovery of themes and subtleties in the portrayal of bot h males and females in ads, finding latent meanings in both photographs and text, and drawi ng conclusions. Unlike quantita tive methods that focus only on manifest meaning in signs, semiotics can fo cus on message systems as a whole (van Zoonen, 1994). Semiotics has many advantages including the ability to reve al subtleties within depictions, due to the immense amount of time spent on the details of each individual
54 text/picture. The detailed focus on each unit of anal ysis allows the researcher to come up with as many meanings as possible. Sample For the purposes of this study, I used a pur posive sampling technique. Neuman (1994) defines purposive sampling as a type of non-proba bility sampling that is an acceptable kind of sampling for special situations ( p.198). Purposive sampling allows the researchers judgment to come into play, selecting cases with a special purpose in mind (Neuman, 1994). Neuman (1994) holds that purposive sampling is especially useful when a researcher wants to identify particular types of cases for in-depth inve stigation. This form of samp ling fits best with this study because its purpose is less to ge neralize to a larger population th an it is to gain a deeper understanding of types (Neuman, 1994). The sample of this study was composed of ads for sport-related products from the time period of 2001 to 2007. This time period was chosen in order to keep the sample recent while also allowing the flexibility to find as many appli cable ads as possible. Finding pairs of ads that targeted both males and females separately proved rather difficult, therefore the date range was extended more than was originally intended. Th ese dates also coincided with major female sports-related trends such as th e birth of the WNBA, the growth in female spectatorship, and increase in womens spor ts-related spending. The sample was established afte r an extensive search for ads for sports products that had an attainable male and female counterpart. A va riety of magazines were searched first, then when a sport product ad was found, the researcher searched for its counterpart in magazines targeting the opposite sex. When a counterpart could not be found in print mediums, the Internet was used. If a counterpart still could not be found, the ad was not used in the study. After an examination of magazine ads from the last seven years and Internet findings, every single ad pair
55 found was used in the study. A total of 24 ads ta rgeted to females and 24 ads targeted toward males were found and chosen based on the fact th at the advertised product had both a female and male counterpart ad. While ads were not necessar ily analyzed as pairs, these pairs were chosen because the study focuses only on adve rtising of brands that target both males and females. For example, Danskin is a female-only sports brand that would not be relevant to this study as there would be no male counterpart to analyze and compare. Most of the advertisements within the samp le came from a range of health, fitness and sporting magazines including Self Shape Fitness Mens Health ESPN Sports Illustrated Golf Golf for Women Golf Digest Mens Fitness and Mens Journal The remaining ads came from the Internet, mostly from the brands Web site. The products advertised ranged from shoes and apparel to workout machines to golf clubs to v itamin supplements. The br ands utilized included AdamsGolf, Bionic, Callaway Golf, Amino Vita l, TourEdge, Winn, Cleveland Golf, PowerBar, PowerSox, Adidas, Asics, New Balance, Bowfle x, Myoplex, Champion, PowerBar Protein Plus, Snickers Marathon Performance Bar, Garmin, Sperry, Etonic, Wilson Golf, Skechers, and Columbia. Materials (Apparatus) Materials required for this study include a recording instrument or code sheet (see appendix A) and a codebook (see appendix B). In addition, issues of the magazines from which the ads came were needed in order to obtain as many advertising pair s as possible. Once it seemed that the maximum number of pairs wa s obtained from the physical issues of the magazines, the Internet was used as a resource for obtaining sport advertisements. After the ads were obtained, they were analyzed in part using codes established in previous studies examining the portrayal of gender within media. Due to th e lack of research done in the area of sport-product print advertis ing and how it relate s to gender, several additional codes were
56 established by the researcher afte r a preliminary examination of th e sample. The following study examines both photographic and textual elements; therefore, many established codes had to be altered in order to fit the scope of this study. The first previously establishe d code system used is that of Goffman (1979); however, not all of his six categories of stereotypical depictio ns of women were used. The categories used in the scope of this study include feminine touch, function ranking, a nd ritualization of socialization. Feminine touch refers to Go ffmans finding that women were photographed more often using their fingers and hands to trace the outlines of an object or to cradle it or to caress it, (1979, p. 29) while men used touch in a mo re functional manner. In consideration of function ranking, Goffman analyzed the way soci al weightpower, auth ority, rank, office, and renownwas expressed in stereoty pes through relative size and espe cially height. Women were usually photographed as shorter th an men (not in reference to he ight, but how they were placed. For example, a man is shown standing while the female is sitting), making them seem subordinate (Goffman, 1979). In ritualization of socialization, Goffman held that subordination is represented by lowering oneself physically (Gof fman, 1979). Holding your head high or having a straight body showed superiority and being unashamed. Wh en the subject of a photograph was lying down, Goffman considered this a display of dependenc y. A bashful knee bend was interpreted as foregoing of full effort to be prepared (G offman, 1979, p. 45). Goffman also considered smiling a conveyance of inferiority. In cooperation with codes constructed by Go ffman, codes for bodily expression will be used as well. Henley (1977) constructed a char t displaying results of many researchers studies of body language. Henley pointed out that man y nonverbal behaviors that seem meaningless and non-power-related in fact are aspects of sex pr ivilege or reflect societal biases intimately
57 founded in power differences (Henley, 1977, p. 188). According to the chart, the following convey dominance: staring, touching, interrupt ing, crowding anothers space, frowning/looking stern, chin up, hands behind the back, and poi nting (Henley, 1977). Characterizations of submission include lowering the eyes, cuddling to touch, yielding/moving away, smiling, tilting the head, and closed positions (Henley, 1977). In addition to these codes of bodily expression, a form of Henleys frustration code was util ized to convey an athl ete looking tired. Limited coding systems were also borrowed from previous studies. Motion in Photo has been used by a number of researchers in order to determine if females are portrayed in active vs. non-active roles (Goffman, 1979; Duncan & Saya ovong, 1990; Cuneen & Sidwell, 1998; Lynn et al., 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). Past findings have found that men tend to be shown in more active roles, while women are shown in passive ro les (Cuneen & Sidwell, 1998; Lynn et al., 2002; Lynn et al., 2004). This is especi ally important in examining s ports advertising as one would expect an athlete to be portrayed in active role s, regardless of gender. Portrayals of female athletes posing or as passive beings reduces their athleticism to a focus on their body, ignoring the athletic feats they are capable of achieving. Goodman et al. (2000) found that male athletes were more likely to be portrayed as heroes, purposefully choosing competition and challenge Hardin, et al. ( 2005) also coded for competition; however, this was coded for in photos only. Therefore, Competition and Challenge were utilized as categories to be coded. The categories of Easy and Preparation were derived from the code person who needed help/person who provided help, used by Silverst ein and Silverstein (1974). Silverstein and Silverstein held that the inability to handle the matter be ones self or to be able to provide help reflects on a persons abilities, in telligence, competency, maturity and other attributes (p. 81). When one sex is repeatedly portrayed as either needing or giving hel p, it can suggest to the
58 viewer an endemic dependency or independence of that sex (Silverst ein & Silverstein, 1974, p. 81). Similarly, the code of using an expert was derived from the code person who gave advice/person who was given advi ce also utilized by Silverstei n and Silverstein (1974). The need to receive or ability to offer advice indicates intelligence, awareness, and knowledge (Silverstein & Silverstein, 1974). The code of Inexperience was derived from Blinde, Gree ndorfer and Shankers (1991) code, Different Expectations for Athleticism a nd Physicality. Blinde et al. (1991) analyzed commentator comments during sports broadcasts of male and female events. In the examination, they found that the commentators had different expectations for performance by males and females (Blinde et al., 1991). For example, commentators were su rprised at certain performances by females, while at the same tim e these actions were ignored when performed by a male (Blinde et al., 1991). Because these res earchers analyzed TV broadcasts, much of their criteria would not apply to a print ad. However, the idea is essentially the same. Due to the reflexive and circular nature of qualitative content analysis, the researcher was allowed the flexibility of adding other codes th at were not previously researched, but became evident in the analysis process. Those codes included A ttractiveness/Beauty/Looks, Focus on body, Diet/weight loss, Nutrition, Power, T echnology/Science/Innovation, Performance, Improvement, Confidence, Achievement, Use of Script Font, Emphasis of Ad Color, Product Specifics, Style, Color of Product, Engineered/D esigned, and Emotional. While some of these areas have obviously been researched, no previous ly established codes applicable to this study were found. Procedure Preliminary themes to be coded were estab lished; however, following an initial analysis, additional codes that had not been previously re searched were added (See Appendix A). After
59 the code sheet and code book were constructed, all 48 (24 targeting females and 24 targeting males) advertisements were qualitatively conten t analyzed. Common themes, similarities, and differences were recorded and desc ribed in detail in order to be able to compare and contrast ways in which marketers of sport products portray males as compared to females. After the analysis was completed, results were reported in general terms, but then ads or ad pairs best exemplifying each finding were chosen for detailed explanation and description. Dependability of Findings When conducting qualitative content analysis, it is important to confirm the significance of findings among multiple researchers. In order to ensure the dependability of the findings of this study, the supervising professor of the rese archer confirmed major themes and divergences discussed in the following chapter (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).
60 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This section presents the qualitative content analysis of 24 pairs of advertisements for sports products based on the codes stated in th e methods chapter. Within each section, general patterns are presented and then se lect advertisements that best exemplify these patterns are analyzed in depth based on code s by Silverstein and Silverstei n (1974), Henley (1977), Goffman (1979), Duncan & Sayaovong (1990), Blinde, Greendorfer and Shanker (1991), Cuneen & Sidwell (1998), Lynn et al. (2002, 2004), and Hard in et al. (2005), as well as previously unresearched codes. The overall findings of this study delineate th at while major differences were not found in how men and women are targeted, subtle differences were appare nt. To the average consumer, many of the nuances that are to be discussed probably go virtually unnoticed. However, when examined closely, several of these ads show subtle differences that exhibit gender difference and stereotypes. These subtle differe nces consist mostly of a few lines or even words from the copy or headline, and less frequently, something in the visual aspect of the ad such as color used. While the average person may need to look rather closely to pick up on these differences, this does not mean that long-term damage is not being done. Aesthetics: Overt Sexuality, Attrac tiveness, Body and Weight Loss Overt Sexuality Overall, the findings of Goffmans (1979) research were la rgely irrelevant. Stereotypically sexual bodily expression such as bending ones knee and having the mouth open were only found in one ad the female Skechers a d. The ad depicts a male and female model in a compromisingly sexual position and several of Goffmans establ ished codes are present. The models bodies are pressed up against one another with the females leg raised and knee bent.
61 The male model has grabbed hold of her middleupper thigh. While the male wears pants and a black sleeveless mesh shirt, the female wears bare ly-there shorts, a shiny black bikini top, a large silver Skechers charm around her neck and of cour se, Skechers sneakers. Both bodies look shiny and greased up. Both have their lips parted slightly. The female model has her left hand wrapped around the males head so that she is grasping his hair. The two bodies are the main image of the ad, with only a cart oonish sky background behind them. While this ad is atypical of most of the ot hers within the sample, it does portray some of the codes Goffman (1979) established. Besides th e obvious use of the female as a sex object, as can be seen in her attire and sexually comp romising position, other more subtle messages are being sent as well. Both the parted lips a nd bent knee are a commonl y found sexual image of females in advertising, implying again that wo men are solely sex objec ts (Goffman, 1979). However, the male is shown with parted lips as well. Despite stereotypical subtleties portrayed by the female in this ad, she is overall portray ed as having a sexual and physical power over the male. The most obvious element of this ad how ever, is the amount of skin being shown by the female. While it can be said that women often wear less clothing wh ile exercising, it is clear that this women is not wearing exercise clothing, but instead, a shiny bikini top with extremely short pinstriped, cuffed, casual looking shorts. The male could have been portrayed as scantily clothed as well, but he is instead wearing long pants. He is however wearing a see-through, mesh shirt, which could imply a sense of sexuality. Contrary to the blatantly obvious findings of past studies, no other ad in this sample was as sexual in nature as the Sk echers ad (Goffman, 1979; Belknap & Leonard, 1991; Klassen et al., 1993; Plous & Neptune, 1997). Severa l of Goffmans codes did not ap ply to this sample simply because this Skechers ad was one of two ads out of all 48 to illustrate more than one person together in the ad. The examination of the Skech ers ads as a pair serves to emphasize the sexual
62 nature of the female-targeted ad. The male-tar geted ad features images of three different Skechers sneaker style options, with text only addressing style and comfort. The male ad actually could not get any less sexual. When examined together the Skechers pair is actually somewhat atypical, as male ads are typically the ones that appear to be more sexual. Attractiveness In analyzing the 24 ad pairs, 25% (6) of the ads targeted to females referenced attractiveness in some way. This could have in cluded references to ones weight, beauty, looks, level of attractiveness or like lihood of attracting the opposite se x. Only 8% (2) of the ads targeted to males referenced attractiveness. One brand exemplifying this finding was that of Amino Vital. The two ads were structured sim ilarly, with identical placement of the headline, text, logo, and picture. The l ogo and slogan of For Greater F itness and Higher Performance were pictured in the upper left hand corner. Both pictured a model engaged in an athletic activity, with the image of the model taking up most of the ad. The headlines were placed across the middle of the ad in the same standard font. The male headline reads Less pain, more gain, while the female headline reads Be your best Today. And Tomorrow. A paragraph of supportive text was featured at the bottom of the ad in a much smaller font size. Finally, pictures of the variety of products were featured across the bottom of the ad. The exact same products were featured in both ads. Overall, both the female and male ad exude a sense of strength and power, as the male shows a man lifting weights and the female ad s hows a female boxer. While the ad layout and overall message of the ads were very similar, very subtle differences still exhibited gender difference. The female-targeted ad reads Amino Vita l is designed to get the most out of the time and energy you put into staying fit. Howe ver, the comparable sentence from the male copy reads Amino Vital is engineered to help yo u work out longer, harder, more intensively.
63 While the language and message in the female ad may imply gaining and building strength, it could also refer to a focus on weight loss and app earance improvement. It is the absence of this language in the male ad that accentuates difference. Overall, the difference here seems to be that the female ad softens the idea of being active, while the male ad packs more punch and is more in your face about strength and working out. Similarly, the male ad states that the result of using Amino Vital is a lot less soreness, a lot more progress, while the female ad states that the result is youll look and feel your best, today and tomorrow. On the one hand, one can see how this copy works with its respective headline to send an overall message; neverthele ss it does convey subtle gender difference. Subtle visual differences are apparent as well. While the male is portrayed with his chin up, looking upward in a confident manner, the female is more detached seeming, looking downward so that we barely see her eyes. Goffman f ound that women were often portrayed as being withdrawn and detached in a dvertising, emphasizing their pass ive roles in society (1979). The media have been known to portray female characters as devoting all or most of their energy to improving their appear ances (Wood, 1994, 235). One could say that this ad manages to subtly continue that tradit ion. While both the male and female in the respective ads are depicted in active situations, the texts of the ads send two subtly different messages. The female stereotypically devotes her time to exercising in order to improve her appearance; the male is depicted exercising in order to improve his stre ngth and power. The supp ortive copy of the male ad focuses on the physical body as a source of pow er and intense action. While the female ad focuses on staying fit, there is an absence of language emphasizing strength and intense physical exertion. The absence of such language in the fe male ad, coupled with mentions of staying fit and burning fat, could imply a focus on exerci sing solely to improve ones level of attractiveness.
64 Research has shown that occasionally, wo men in media who do not subscribe to the traditional female roles are positively portray ed; however, this is done by softening and feminizing them to make them more consiste nt with traditional ro les of femininity (Wood, 1994, 237). The Amino Vital ad makes efforts to depart from the typical gender stereotypes through its depiction of the female as a boxer, an atypical activity for females. It could be said that this ad exemplifies Goldmans (1991) theo ry of commodity feminism, turning the Amino Vital females power and strength into something more feminine. Focus on Body While there was no significant difference in th e number of ads, female or male, that utilized the image of a human model, there was a significant divergence in the number of ads that used the body of the model as a significant focus. Sixtyseven percent (16) of the female ads utilized the presence of a model. All but one used only a female model. The outlier was the Skechers ad, which featured both a male and female model. Sixty-nine percent (11) of the ads that did use a model, used the body of the mode l as a primary focus, largely portraying only body parts, not the full body. Meanwhile, of the 24 male-focused ads, 50% (12) used a model, all of which were male, with the exception of one that contained a large picture of a male and a small inset picture containing a female as well. Only 25% (3) of those ads with a model used the models body as a main image with in the ad. As discussed in an earlier section, the Skechers ads delineate this finding well. In order to avoid repetition, I will ex amine the Garmin ad pair, which also exemplifies this finding. Garmin is a watchlike device that keeps track of a variety of data while you run. In the Garmin ads, the female-targeted ad depicts a female body from the lower bust to the upper thigh region, focusing mainly on a bare shiny and toned midsection. This was one example where only body parts were portrayed, in stead of the entire body. The background is
65 mildly blurred, and the body is clearly the primar y focus of the ad. On the other hand, the maletargeted ad depicts a twenty-something male sitting down, dressed in a collared, button-down shirt and jeans. The only skin exposed is on his hands and face. Not only is there a huge difference in the amount of skin shown in each ad, but the male ad also includes the models head, something the female ad omits. This could send the audience a message: males are to be viewed as complete humans who are valued fo r their minds rather than their bodies, while females are only worth the attractiveness of thei r body parts. These results supported previous findings that women are typica lly represented by body parts rath er than their whole bodies (Kilbourne, 1999). Diet/Weight Loss In keeping with the seemingly running them e of the use of commodity feminism in advertising, results showed that mentioning of di et and weight loss were also ways in which advertisers feminized the act of sport and exercise. Of the sample of 24 ad pairs, 21% (5) of the female-targeted ads made some mention of diet or weight loss. Contrast ingly, only 4% (1) of the male-targeted ads mentioned diet or weight loss. With regards to weight loss, the two previously discussed ads, Amino Vital and Ga rmin, best exemplify this finding. In the Amino Vital ads, both the male and female ads focus on muscle building muscle, muscle energy, and muscle repair. Again, the over all ads definitely convey messages of strength. However, the female ad contains one phrase that is nowhere to be found in the male ad Burn fat. Why is it that only the female could stand to lose some fat? Once again, advertising may be sending the message that being thin is the ultimate goal, even for strong females that depart from the typical image of a feminine woman. Th ese findings seem to imply that male bodies are meant to be used for various physical activities, while female bodies are meant solely for display or attraction.
66 From a marketing standpoint, focusing on di et and weight loss makes sense, as women tend to typically exercise with weight loss in mi nd as a main goal. However, the media portray an inaccurate picture of male and female fee lings about weight loss and body dissatisfaction. While it is true that most females are concerned with their weight and st aying thin and struggle with body dissatisfaction on a daily basis, males al so struggle with their body image as well. However, this is reflected in the medi a at a much lower rate. A 1997 nationwide Psychology Today survey showed that 56% of women are dissa tisfied with their appe arance (Garner, 1997). Reported problem areas for women included thei r abdomens (71%), body weight (66%), hips (60%), and muscle tone (58%). However, men showed an escalating dissatisfaction with their overall appearance as well, with 43% of men polled claiming to be dissatisfied. Confessed problem areas for men included their abdomens (63 %), weight (52%), muscle tone (45%), and chest (38%) (Garner, 1997). A comparison of these findings re veals that women are actually more dissatisfied with their muscle tone than men, yet advertising fail s to reflect this. The Garmin ads differ in that the male ad does actually make some mention of weight loss. It also makes no mention of muscle in a ny way. While the male ad does not focus nearly as heavily on weight loss, it does use avoid[ing] love handles at all costs as one motivation for running with the Garmin Forerunner. That remain s the only mention of weight loss in the entire ad however. Contrastingly, the female ad begi ns with the headline Shave time, ounces and inches, stressing that the main reason for using the Garmin Forerunner is to lose weight. The fact that the device also counts calories is stre ssed as one of its main features, a detail omitted in the male ad. Finally, the text is ended with a play-on-words Get the skinny on the Garmin Forerunner. This saying could have easily b een replaced with get more information; however, the advertisers chose to empha size the weight loss factor.
67 The text also compares the Forerunner devi ce to a personal trainer, stressing weight loss, while also implying that females arent capable of working out without someone teaching them or helping them to train. Furthermore, the c opy states that the Forer unner tells you how far, how fast even how to get home, possibly impl ying that women are so intellectually inferior that they even need help remembering how to get home. Findings also showed that of those female ad s that mentioned diet or weight loss, 75% (4) mentioned the products lack of sugar, fat or calo ries or its abilities to burn/count calories. In contrast, the male counterparts of those ads te nded to mention vitamin, mineral, carbohydrate and protein content. While fema les do typically require a lower daily caloric intake than males, vitamins, minerals, protein and carbs are still im portant for their health. These diet components are typically associated with gaining weight, some thing that is unacceptable to any female that wishes to be accepted in a patriarchical societ y. On the other hand, ma rketers are obviously trying to capitalize on the fact that women typically do care more about dieting while males are actually more concerned with gaining weight. N onetheless, the constant reinforcement of the female need to be thin could have detrimental long-term effects. In summary, sport product ads targeted to women exhibited both subtle and obvious focuses on beauty, looks, the body, weight loss, and diet. Women could be sent the message that the only goal and purpose of sports and exercise are losing weight and being thin. In contrast, males may be sent the message that exercise help s them to grow healthier, stronger, and more powerful. Some of the ads in this sample reinfo rce the widely held cultur al view that women are simply decorative objects whose identity hinges on physical appeal (Wood, 1994, p. 128). There is a double standard in our society as womens attractiven ess is central to how she is judged (Wolf, 1991), while men are judged on their abilities, in this cas e physical abilities. Commodity feminism is at work here, as thes e female ads merge the independent and powerful
68 ideals of feminism with femininity and being attractive and available to men (Goldman, 1991). This also exemplified the classic Berger (1972) comment, men act, women appear. Focus on Technology, Science, Performance or Use of Expert Technology and Science Studies have suggested that technological competence is a gendered attribute that is attractive and important for males to possess but unnecessary and even unattractive for females (White & Kinnick, 2000). Despite previous findings, the results of this sa mple showed that the mentioning of either technology or science was similar between the male-and female-targeted ads, with 29% (7) for the female ads and a sl ightly higher 33% (8) fo r the male ads. Despite the similarity in the mentions of t echnology and science, there was some bias in language used to discuss how a product was made. Male ads overall tended to refer to a product as being engineered, whereas female ads tended to say something was designed. Seventeen percent (4) of the sample of male-targeted ad s utilized the words engineered or something similarly manly sounding, such as crafted or b uilt, while only 4% (1) of females used such language. Similarly, 21% (5) of female ads used the word designed, while only 4% (1) of male ads did so. The ads utilize stereotypically male and female language as males are supposed to enjoy and appreciate building things, while fe males deal more with design as it applies to things like clothing. To illustrate this finding, I again return to th e advertisements for the sports supplement, Amino Vital. The text and format of these two ads look identical and both seem to convey a sense of strength and power. The male ad claims that Amino Vital is engineered to help you work out longer, harder, more intensively. The co mparable sentence in the female ad, placed in exactly the same position as that of the male ad claims, Amino Vital is designed to help you get the most out of the time and energy you put into st aying fit. In both of these sentences, the
69 words engineered or designed could have be en switched and the core message essentially would have stayed the same. However, the a dvertisers chose to use a more scientific-sounding word choice when addressing male consumers. Th is ad pair may exhibit the stereotypes of men being equated with science, while wo men are associated with fashion. Performance When it came to the discussion of a products performance or how using the product would improve the users performance, there was little difference between males and females. Thirty-three percent (8) of the female-targeted ad s either directly used the word performance or referenced it through descriptio ns of what that pr oduct can do for its user. Forty-two percent (10) of male-targeted ads addres sed performance in some way. Fo r the most part, advertisements for golf products addressed performance regardless of gender. For example, both the male and female Callaway Golf ads mention performance in some way. Despite the seemingly equal performance treatment, subtle ge nder stereotypes were found. Bo th Callaway Golf ads are for a Callaway driver. The male ad boasts that th e driver provides unprecedented stability and ushers in a new era of driver performance, throwing out trad itional thinking and preconceived notions. The language utilized in the male ad implies some kind of ground-breaking technology or innovation, which seems to further imply that males are technologically savvy. The copy of the female ad, conversely, provides a very straig htforward explanation of product specifics and capabilities, describing the features very plainly with no exaggeration. Another subtle difference was found in the f act that the female ad touts performancedriven equipment designed specifically for women. One possible reading of this could imply that females need custom-made equipment in order to keep up in the game, with men or even with other females. The added specifically fo r women phrase seems to trivialize the apparent capabilities of the product when it comes to performance. On the other hand, marketers may
70 simply be implying that these clubs are specia lized and made specifically with the female body in mind. Furthermore, this could imply that women who play golf have actually been playing with a handicap all this time, using equipment made for males that dont work with their body types. While focus on performance was compar able numerically, the ways in which it were presented often made a difference. Use of Expert While there was equality in me ntion of technology, a stereotypi cally male topic, there was a large difference in the number of ads that utilized a known expert to get the legitimacy of their product across. Approximately 17% (4) of the male ads utilized a known expert to attest to the performance of a product or were simply shown us ing the product. About half as many female ads (2) used a known expert. The ad pair that best illust rates using an expert is that of Wilson Golf. The female ad depicts a pink accented golf bag with a pink umbr ella and pink golf towel attached. The head covers of the featured clubs are also pink and bl ack. While the golf bag is in focus on the left side of the ad, the right side features a young, thin, blonde woman dressed in pink and practicing her swing. She is out of focus however. There is no headline, only a paragraph of copy in very small font at the top of the ad and three images of specific types of clubs with a sentence of copy each along the bottom. Each of the three types of clubs are featured within color blocks that are gray, magenta and purple. The male ad features tour pro Padraig Harrington leaning on his golf bag filled with Wilson branded clubs. He sports a black long-sl eeved, collared shirt, a W ilson Staff baseball cap and is smiling. Next to his image reads his quot e, placed in a badge-shaped color block -- Its something I work at until it s too dark to see the pin.
71 While the female ad depicts a non-expert non-celebrity, thin, bl onde model practicing her swing, the male ad depicts tour pro Padrai g Harrington posed with the product, giving his expert advice. These results s uggest that advertising sends the message that males are seen as having the ability to relate to an expert. The female featured in the ad is the prototypical, pinkclad, feminine beauty of American culture. The ad seems to imply that if you use Wilson golf clubs, you become her. Previous studies have fo und this to be a common theme in advertising (Williamson, 1979). Focus on the Challenge and the Win Male ads scored significan tly higher when it came to mentioning challenge, competition, and winning. Men are typically s een as more competitive and aggr essive than women. Men are urged to possess qualities of dominance, a ggressiveness and strength (Wood, 1994). While women tend to be judged by their appearance an d/or relationships, men are typically judged by their activities, accomplishments, and positions (Wood, 1994.). Males learn from childhood that an individuals status depends on standing out, being better and often dominating other players whereas women learn that their economic and soci al success is determined by their looks (Maltz & Borker, 1982). Challenge Thirteen percent (3) of male-tar geted ads addressed the challenge of the respective sport in some way. In contrast, absolutely none of the female-targeted ads did so. The ad pair showing the greatest divergence in mention of competition is Cleveland Golf. The male version of the Cleveland Golf ad is all about th e love of the challeng e. The headline reads Bring on the square heads, the imitators, the followers. Bring on th e game. In addition, following the explanation of the advantages of the advertised driver, the text of the ad ends with Bring on the game. It is clear here that the male sense of competition is being invoked. The female ad, however, ignores
72 any sense of challenge and focuses on emotions. The headline reads You dont know whether to play it or hug it reducing womens participation in golf to a less competitive, emotional occurrence. The statement also im plies that the golf club is what will save the females game, not her athletic ability. The ad seems to imply that a piece of equipment will save the female, as if she is a stereotypical damsel in distress. As discussed earlier, women are typically de fined by their relationships, while men are more typically defined by their accomplishments (Wood, 1994). The ad pair for sneaker and sport apparel brand, ASICS, also exemplifies ho w advertising stereotypes men as focusing more on the challenge of sport and accomplishing so mething, while women focus on more trivial aspects. The theme of the campaign from whic h these ads come is My Running Partner is and then a different story follows for each ad. In the male ad, the text consists of a man discussing how his running partner is a crew team of four men rowing in the river next to him as he runs. This invokes a sense of challenge, as racing a team of four men would obviously be seen as a challenge for anyone. It also conjures the idea of one vs. many, another stereotypical male challenge. In this ad, the challenge for th e running man is to attempt to match the perfect rhythm, perfect cadence, and per fect pace of the crew team. The female ad, on the other hand, takes a sim ilarly stereotypical approach and equates a female running to a kind of dating opportunity. The visual of the ad does not seem to convey gender difference as the image of the female running is clearly the main focus of the visual. The subtle differences are found within the headli ne and supportive copy. The headline reads -My running partner and I have never met. The text goes on We run together every day, Im just not sure hes aware of it. We havent had any deep conversations or anything, but last week, I made the first move. I gathered up the courage to say On your left. While making the first move is a typically male action, seen as aggressi ve if done by a female, this ad still fails to
73 substantiate womens athletic ab ility. The first three pronouns used in the three sentences of copy are we, he and we. The pronoun I is only used in reference to making a move on and speaking to a male. Even in an ad targeted to females, the male is essentially the focus. This ad pair is a perfect example of how womens participation in sport is trivialized in the media. While the male subject of the male-targeted ad fo cuses on his rhythm and pace, the female in the female-targeted ad is busy focusing on a guy who she sees every day while running. Competition and Winning Similar to the challenge language, there were also subtle differences in the occurrence of competition or winning language. Thirteen per cent (3) of male-targeted ads directly focused on competition or winning compared to no female mentions. This supports previous findings that in advertising, males are typically the only ones shown winning at anything (Goodman et al., 2002). As with the findings of discussion of challenge, focus on competition and winning can be attributed to early socializa tion and learning of gender roles and appropriate gender qualities (Wood, 1994). The divergence in competition/winning speak was most evident in the copy of the ads for Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes. The two ads look exactly alike in color, design, and placement, with virtually no gender difference visually; howev er, a comparison of the subtle messages sent within the text shows some gender difference. The male ad focuses on allowing men to own the water every ocean, river, lake and stream. It addresses the competition of man vs. nature by insinuating that when wearing Sp erry Top-Sider shoes, men can conquer nature, particularly the water. In addition to the man-vs.-nature message, the ad also addresses man vs. man competition. In a reference to competitive saili ng, the supporting text of the ad suggests that wearers of the shoes are competing for world c ups. While men are own[ing] the water and competing for world cups, the women in the fe male ad are apparently exploring the seven
74 seas or just strolling their shor es. When comparing the two ads, one could interpret the female ad as suggesting that females could not possibly be interested in competitive boating but instead enjoy simply traveling or strolling, both passive actions. Here again, womens participation in a sport that men participate in seems to be tr ivialized as non-competitive or even non-athletic. This finding is reminiscent of the idea that men act and women appear (Berger, 1972). On the other hand, discussion of explorin g could be read as a female being adventurous, a stereotypically male quality. Al so, studies have shown that females do tend to focus less on competition and more on fairness, equality and relationships (Wood, 1994). Based on these findings, marketers lack of emphasis on competition makes sense, however at the same time, this does mean that all women want to do is stroll. Improvement vs. Making the Sport Easier to Play Content analysis showed that while mens ads tended to focus on the work of the sport or improving ones game or skills, womens ads te nded to focus on making the sport easier for a female to play. Forty-two percent (10) of the male-targeted ads focused on improving ones game or skills, while only 4% (1) of the female-targeted ads did so. Twenty-one percent (5) of female-targeted ads addressed making the sport ea sier to play or making being active easier on the body, while only 8% (2) of the male ads did so. Ads for PowerBar PROTEIN PLUS best exemplified the improvement and easy findings. The male ad depicts a weight machine on which the poundage of each level is replaced with the labels Buff, Cut, Ripped, Chiseled and finally, at the heaviest level, Idolized The entire ad focuses on improving ones level of muscularity and strength. Research supports this finding, as research on men has found that males are mo re concerned with gain ing weight and looking buffer (Garner, 1997). Through the use of these PowerBars, the ad insinuates that one can reach the level of being idolized, again invoking a sense of competition as well. On the other hand, the
75 female ad has a headline that reads Do more. With less. The headline refers to being able to eat less and still have more energy, as well as to the fact that the bar is sugar-free. While the overall visual of the ad conveys little gender difference, subtleties in the text say otherwise. The remaining text of the ad mentions nothing a bout increasing strength, muscle, or any other improvement. The female ad insinuates that the female can be stronger and have more energy. However, it also suggests that she consume less fu el as seen in the head line, Do more. With less. Bordo (1993) has addressed this topic, arguing that the emphasis on women to exercise and lose weight, while simultaneously eating much less or even starving themselves, is extremely unrealistic. In no way does star ving yourself lead to being powerful. In addition to the discrepancy in discussion of improvement, the ads also stereotype typical gender roles. While the male ad displays parts of a weight machine, a typically male activity, the female ad depicts a model jumping rope, a typically female activity. The act of jump roping is also an activity typically associated with a fema les childhood. Therefore, the ad may infantilize the female, implying that she is childish and imma ture, definitely not on the same level as her male counterpart. Achievement and Confidence Similar to the findings of Challenge and Co mpetition, the analysis showed that maletargeted ads made reference to achievement in some way (17% or 4 ads) more than twice as many times as female ads (8% or 2 ads). Su rprisingly though, the number of mentions of confidence in the female ads wa s double that of the male ads. Eight percent (2) of female ads mentioned having confidence or confidence to be gained from using the product. There was not one male ad that mentioned confidence. Ma les are typically not thought of as needing a confidence boost, in fact confidence can sometim es be equated with masculinity. Females,
76 however, are generally thought to be lacking in self-confidence a nd skill; thus products that improve their skills would further improve their confidence. This can also reflect the common stereotype that females need a males approva l or evaluation in order to know whether she should be confident in herself or not. For example, most females determine their own attractiveness through feedback received from the opposite sex. A prime example of a male ad using achieveme nt is the Wilson Golf ad that has been previously discussed. While the female counterp art to this ad focuses on friends and fun, the male ad talks about greatness and working at ac hieving something until its too dark outside to continue. One example of a female ad that mentions confidence is the TourEdge golf ad. The ad claims that the Iron-Wood golf club gives you the c onfidence to take on any shot. This is an example of an ad that insinuates that the pr oduct is what will give you that confidence. Style, Design and Color of Product Style In the case of reference to style, the ma le and female ads from this sample were completely equal. In both cases, 13% (3) of th e ads mentioned style in either the text or the headline. The ads for Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes exemplify the equality in reference to style. As previously discussed, the Sperry Top-Sider ads look almost identical at first glance as far as color and placement of text/visuals goes. The male ad, however, also includes a second page that displays 12 different shoe st yle options. Style is the focus of this entire second page. One of the captions below a style option also claims to ha ve a stylish nautical look. The female ad references style in its copy. It claims that Spe rry Top-Sider shoes have the styling, the colors, the action and that tractio n to make waves everywhere you go. This also further exemplifies an emphasis on attractiveness, as making waves refers to drawing attention to oneself.
77 One would most likely expect styl e to be a factor considered mainly by females, as females are stereotyped as cari ng more about aesthetics and less a bout substance. However, findings showed that style was just as important to males. This may be an indicator of an increasing male interest in fashion as exemplified in the metro-se xual. It could also be attributed to a growing male concern with relation to looks/body image (Garner, 1997). Color of Product Similar to the findings for style, there was an equal ratio of male and female ads that mentioned something about the color of the pr oduct, a total of 8% (2) for both. This was surprising as color is typically thought of as a female concern. The Winn tennis grip ads best exemplify this. The female ad features one larg e image of a single tennis grip that is hot pink with black accents. The headlin e reads Advanced Integration. Its definitely not grip technology as usual. The supportive text discusse s why the grip is different and its features, including its different colors. In the lowe r right hand corner is a picture of two well-known, but unnamed golf pros. The male-targeted ad features a double-helix image made up of many tennis grips, all in different colors and styles. The headline reads Winn = Technology2 + Style The copy discusses the new revolutionary grip, the different models, and the pros that use them. The last sentence of copy stresses striking colo rs, rich tones and new designs. While both of these ads mention the impor tance of the color of the product to the consumer, the overall ad sends different messages. Whereas the female ad stresses a single, pink grip, the male ad displays many color choices, something an ad targeted to females would typically do. However, while emph asizing color, the male ad also uses science (the double helix) and technology to sell the product; the female ad fails to do so. The double helix could be interpreted to mean that males are attracted to scientific claims, while females prefer to focus on
78 more girly aspects such as a products pink colo r. The use of the colo r pink in the female ad also exemplifies feminine stereotypes. Pink is known to be a feminine color and would never be used in a male-focused ad. Still it is intriguing that the ad targeted to males would stress color, tones, and designs so much more than its female counterpart. Similar to what was discussed in relation to emphasis on style, emphasis on color of product may also reflect a growing male interest in fashion, a stereo typically female interest. Color and Typeface Use In Ad Emphasis of Color There was a divergence in the number of ma le and female ads that emphasized color within the ad. Emphasis of color was defined as an ad that used color as a main tool or primary focus; in other words the color of the ad or some thing in the ad was one of the first things to draw the consumers eye. Upon viewing the ad, co lor must be one of the first details of the ad that is noticeable. Thirty-three percent of female ads emphasized color, while 17% (4) of male ads did so. Surprisingly, however there was no major difference in the overall colors used for either male or female-targeted ads. Both male and female ads utilized th e colors purple, red, and blue. One male ad utilized the color green, while no female ad did so. Twice as many female ads utilized the color blue (2 vs. 1), a stereo typically male color. Table 4-1 illustrates the distributions of colors used based on gender. Table 4-1. Use of Color in Male vs. Female Ads Red (%) Blue (%) Pink (%) Purple (%) Male 2 (8) 1 (4) 0 (0) 1 (4) Female 2 (8) 2 (8) 3 (12) 1 (4) One finding that did stand out was the female ad s use of pink compared to the lack of such within the male-targeted ads. Three fema le ads (13%) utilized th e color pink as a main focus of the ad. In the cases of those three ad s that did utilize pink, tw o did so in connection
79 with breast cancer awareness or donations. Because the logo for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the most well-known breast cancer ch arity, is a light pink ribbon, many brands adjust the colors of their promo tional materials when sponsoring an event or simply to advertise their connection with the charity. The month of October is cons idered National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; therefore, use of pink tends to increase in ads released in the months surrounding this time. While the use of pink may be atypical overall to female-targeted sport product ads, this area warrants fu rther investigation outside the scope of this study. Why is it that only female products partner with breast cancer -related charities? O bviously, the percentage of men diagnosed with the dis ease is almost non-existent, yet breast cancer affects mens lives through the grief of losing a wife, mother, sister, daughter or female friend. This could possibly signify the portrayal of the female as weak, as ma le ads fail to point out male-specific diseases, possibly because men are often seen as strong and indestructible. It makes one wonder why male ads dont form partnerships with foundations supporting research of testicular cancer. Marketers use of breast cancer messages only in fe male ads may also exhibit the stereotype of the females tendency to react more emotiona lly than a male would. By only using these messages in female ads, marketers seem to be implying that women are the only ones that would care enough to donate to breast can cer charities, therefore putti ng these messages in male ads would be pointless. Despite similarities in the physical colors used in the ads, there were evident differences in the ways colors were used in the ad. The ad pair that best exemplifies color similarity and also shows differences between the male and female ad s is that of Myoplex, a sport supplement and drink In both Myoplex ads, the color purple is used as a major focus of the ad. The format and visual layout of the ads are almost exactly a like. Both ads feature sports professionals participating in their respective act ivities (biking for the female tri-athlete and football for the pro
80 football player); however it is clear that both models have been graphically altered to look almost cartoonish. In the female ad, the female tr i-athlete is featured in purple bike shorts, a purple tank top, purple tinted sungl asses and a purple bike helmet, riding her purple bike through a purple sky as purple lightning bolts come off her body and bike. The overall ad conveys a message of strength as this female looks to be very athletic and powerful. The male ad conveys a message of strength and power as well. The ad features a professional football player soaring up into a purple sky as if he ha s a rocket attached to his back while holding a football above his head. Not onl y are the sky and horizon purple, but the earth he sees below him is purple as well. The male ad differs from its female counterpart, however, in that the amount of purple featur ed when it comes to the football pl ayers clothing is miniscule. While the female athlete is dressed in purple from head to toe, the ma le athletes attire consists of white spandex-looking shorts and shirt, with blac k gloves and shoes. His shirt and shorts feature very minor purple accents. His shirt sports th e small purple logo of Myoplexs parent company, EAS, in the middle of his upper chest. These ads appear to be identical in format and the messages they are attempting to convey, but take a closer look and the unde rlying details appear. For exam ple, why is it acceptable for a female to be dressed completely in purple, while a male can only have small accents to his attire? In the case of this ad pair, the color of the packag ing of Myoplex is in fact purple. Therefore, it would seem perfectly acceptable fo r the male to wear purple, as he is representative of the product. Purple is a stereotypically feminine co lor because it is chosen almost exclusively by women as a favorite color and is strongly dislik ed by men (Bear, 2007). Traditionally, the color is also associated with royalt y, romance and mystery (Bear, 2 007). Women who are mysterious are typically seen as sexy and attractive and roma nce is also an entity that appeals strongly to women.
81 It seems that commodity feminism is once again at play here (Goldman, 1991). The female tri-athlete is exemplifyi ng her athletic abilities and talents, attempting to show off her independence and strength, non-traditional female qua lities. At the same time, marketers seem to be using the outfit she wears to emphasize that no matter how strong she may be, she is feminine as well because she wears a cute purple outfits. Again, by itself the female ad sends an overall message of strength and athletic abil ity. However, by making everything purple in the female ad but only accenting the male ad, Myop lex marketers seem to be emphasizing certain aspects of femininity in the female ad. The extr eme use of purple in the female ad also causes the female subject to almost blend in with th e background of the ad, possibly implying that her athletic feats are nothi ng worth noticing. Through the use of white clothing on the male subject, the male-targeted ad forces the model to st and out from the purple background. This could signify the idea that females are meant to blend into the background and stay out of the spotlight, while male talents should stand out and be the center of attention. Use of Script Typeface In a very general examination of the overall typefaces utilized with in the ads, results showed that only female ads (13% or 3 ads) used script or cursive typefaces, while absolutely none of the male ads did so. This supported previ ous consumer research s howing that because of its neatness and curvy nature, scri pt fonts are stereotypically thought to be female or girlie. Henderson (2005) found that script-like fonts we re considered likable, warm, attractive, interesting, emotional, feminine, and delicate but not strong or reassuring (p. 22). These types of fonts have significant aesthe tic appeal but do not inspire conf idence or seriousness. This may imply that the females in ads using script font s are simply on display for aesthetic purposes as well while also implying that they lack confiden ce and are not to be taken seriously.
82 The advertisements for ADAMSGOLF golf clubs be st delineate the diffe rence in typefaces between ads targeted at each gender. The female ad features a largely written, script headline that consumes nearly the entire top qu arter of the ad. Th e headline reads Well Settle for Perfect In addition to the script headline, the ad also features copy consisting of a quoted endorsement by Golf Magazine that uses a hand-written style typeface. The endorsement reads Idea a2 Womens Set is Named The Perfect Set of Clubs for Women. While the typeface used here isnt quite scri pt, it looks as if a female has writte n it. On the other hand, the male ad features very symmetrical and basi c typefaces. Its headline reads #1 ISNT WHERE INNOVATION ENDS in all capital letters. While the fe male ad uses script and handwritten fonts that invoke femininity, f un, or playfulness, the male ad uses very square and basic typefaces that invoke a sense of seriousness and formality. The difference in typeface use may imply that female participation in sport is femini ne, fun, and playful, while male participation is serious and all business. The Overly Emotional Female Analysis revealed that overwhelmingly, female s were portrayed more often than men as over-emotional, even being described as being i n love with inanimate objects. Twenty-one percent (5) of the female-targeted ads described females in this way, while this finding was also non-existent when it came to the male-targeted ad s. This finding was evident in the previously discussed female Asics ad where all the female runner is concerned with is a guy she sees while running everyday. However, the ad that best exemp lifies this tactic is th e Cleveland Golf ad for the CGII W-Series wedge. The stereotype begins with the headline of the ad: You Dont Know Whether to Play it or Hug It. In this case, play it and hug it are twice the size of the rest of the headline. The headline and the pink color box that contain it consume the top third of the ad. The middle portion of the ad features a picture of the pink-accented we dge. The supportive copy
83 explains how the wedge is so easy to use, youll wonder how you ever lived without it. The copy closes by emphasizing that the wedge provi des unmatched feel and control for shots you cant help but fall in love with. In only one other sport-related male ad (Garmi n) is there any mention of emotion, however this never addresses hugging, living without some thing, or falling in love, especially not in relation to an inanimate object. Kilbourne (1999) addressed this t opic, claiming that ads similar to these imply that products are more important than people. Kilbour ne (1999) held that advertising had long promised a better relations hip via a product, however they have now gone beyond even that, promising a relationship with the product itself, insinu ating that if you buy the product, it will love you. As discussed in a previo us section, this ad seem s to trivialize womens dedication to the sport while al so insulting their emotional inte lligence. The ad could be interpreted as playing on the ster eotype of the female as a victim or damsel in distress who needs to be saved. The wedge can be compared to the females knight in shining armor, whom she will fall in love with and then be unable to imagine how she ever lived without him. The emphasis on not being able to live without the product may also mirror the common stereotype of women being defined by men, having no identity of their own. It is understood what the marketer is implying about the product: they are exaggerating how youll feel about it in order to explain just how great it is. However, the problem here is th at no such tactics are used similarly in any male ad. The Inexperienced Female Athlete and a Focus on Fun Within the scope of this study, there were some findings that di d not show significant differences but still warrant mentioning. One such finding was mentioning lack of experience or a focus on fun rather than the competition of the sport. While only 8% (2) of female ads
84 mentioned inexperience or fun, this was 8% (2 ) more than what was found within the maletargeted sample. The female ad that exemplified the finding of a focus on playing for fun was that of Wilson Golf which has already been discussed with reference to its male c ounterparts use of an expert. The female ad features no headlin e, only supportive copy. The copy emphasizes making the game more enjoyable, and then inv ites the female golfer to grab a few friends and a few hours for [herself] to play golf. Nowhere in the ad is there any mention of competition or challenge as there is in the ma le counterpart; instead, the ad focuses on playing with friends and takes a just for fun approach. This could impl y that females are incapable of competing at the same level as men. It also seems to imply that women are afraid to take on a challenge and, therefore, must appear to just be playing for f un so as not to embarrass themselves. Furthermore, the focus on friends implies that only females use gol f only as a social activity. On the contrary, it is well-known that men use golf as a social ac tivity or guy time. Men use golf as social time for both personal and business purposes. However, of all golf-related ads within the sample (there were 8 total), not one male ad mentioned this detail. This seems to imply that males focus solely on sport and exercise while females use exer cise only as a social activity, not for any sort of competition or improvement of athletic ability. As previously discussed, women are typically defined by their relationships, while men are more typically defined by their accomplishments (Wood, 1994). However in this case, reality is not being portrayed, as males play golf for the so cial aspects equally if not more than women. The ad may imply that women cannot be taken se riously, hence the lack of language discussing female athletic abilities.
85 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study explored the following research question: What are the similarities and differences in the manner in which advertiser s target males and females within magazine advertisements for sport-related pr oducts? In the inves tigation of this resear ch question, theories of capitalist hegemony, commodity feminism, and so cial learning were examined. In addition to the feminist and social theories employed, past research was also utilized in the investigation. On the surface, the 48 ads in this sample appear to have made great strides in the portrayal of males and females. It seems that improvement s have been made with regards to the roles females play within advertising, for example, almo st all ads targeting fema les that used a model showed the model particip ating in an athletic activity. It is obvious that marketers have recognized that females have come to play a larg e role in the sporting industry and are here to stay. Despite this significant step forward, there were a number of ways in which advertisements subtly stereotyped females and males. Overall fi ndings of the study revealed that marketers of sports-related products use subtly different ta ctics in targeting wome n than they do men. Underscoring these tactics are subtle and i ndirect gender stereotypes that reinforce the patriarchical society in which we live. Results regarding attractiveness showed that three times as many female ads as male ads referenced attractiveness in some way. Female ads were more than twice as likely to use the body of the model as a primary focus and made refe rence to diet or weig ht loss five times as often as male ads. These are typical, yet damaging statistics. Goldmans (1991) commodity feminism is clearly at work here. Ads that us e attractiveness, focus on body, and mention of diet or weight loss as tools force the feminist ideals of independence and strengt h that are inherent in the world of sport and turn them into a fo cus on being the ideal feminine specimen sexy,
86 beautiful, and thin. While ads depict women work ing out, an indication of strength, most imply that the female is only exerci sing to become thinner, sexier or more attractive. The discussion of calories, fat and carbs only in female ads implies that women are the only ones who care about their weight or the way that they look. However, this is an unrealistic portrayal of male feelings about weight loss and body image. Res earch shows that weight is one of the more prevalent thoughts on most wome ns minds; however, weight and body image are concerns for men as well. As discussed in the previous chapter, a 1997 Psychology Today survey showed that 89% of women wish they could lose weight, an average of 15 pounds (Garner, 1997). It also showed that 43% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies and wish they could improve their abdomens, weight, muscle t one and chests (Garner, 1997). However, in contrast with women who on average wished they could lose weight, 22% of males actually want to gain weight. If these pub lished statistics hold true, why th en do marketers not capitalize on mens insecurities as well? It seems that based on this data, marketers would benefit from using more body improvement messages in advertising targeting men. With regards to nutrition, findings overwhelmi ngly delineated that marketers think females need to focus on calorie, fat a nd carbohydrate intake, while men need vitamins, minerals and protein. In order to stay healthy, both sexes need a healthy balance of all of these factors. Here again, the female ads focus in on things that will or wont make you fat, while ads targeting males focus on things that will make you stronger. From a marketing standpoint, a focus on weight loss in female ads makes sense. It is common knowledge that large numbers of women wi sh they were thinner and more attractive. Capitalizing on these ins ecurities is one way for marketers to sell products. This does not make focusing on beauty, weight and attractiveness an y less potentially damaging to women. Despite available research, marketers seem unaware of similar weight opportunities for advertising
87 targeting males. Instead, male ads constantly fo cus on strength and muscle. This implies that females exercise solely to lose weight, while ma les exercise solely to build muscle tone and strength. In reality, both genders exercise for a combination of both reasons. Not only does this place focus on body image when it comes to fema les, it also makes it seem as though their participation in sports has nothing to do with comp etition, only with being ac tive in order to lose weight. While 56% of women ar e dissatisfied with their overal l appearance, 58% wish they could improve their muscle tone, compared to only 45% of men (Garner, 1997). Clearly, improving muscle tone has become a significant motivation for why females work out, even more so than men, and yet marketers continue to ignore this and instead focus on more passive and feminine reasons for exercisi ng. Based on this past research and the results of this study, we can gather that when it comes to ads targeti ng males, marketers are basically on target. However, it may benefit marketers to focus mo re on strength and less on weight loss for ads targeting females. Recently, we have seen an inte rnational backlash to ul tra-thin models in the media; therefore, we may see this change soon. The equality in reference to science and technology was unsurpris ing due to previous research that found men and wome n to be equally represented in ads pertaining to technology (White & Kinnick, 2000; Koernnig & Granitz, 2006). However, the underlying language used in the ads, such as engineered or designed suggests that marketers believe men to be more competent when it comes to science, technology or engineering. Female s are stereotypically linked to the word designed, ag ain suggesting that all they car e about is looks. Evidence of social learning is exhibited here as we see me n associated with engineers, a stereotypically masculine occupation and females with designers, a typically feminine occupation. Engineering is also known to be a field in which its practiti oners must possess great kn owledge. This perhaps is insinuating that males are more intelligent than females. Indeed we saw in the results that
88 twice as many male ads used an expert to mark et their product, implying perhaps that males are more likely to have the ability to relate to an e xpert. Intelligence was also indirectly addressed in how marketers frequently addressed how a pr oduct would make playing a sport easier, insinuating that females need outside assistan ce in order to successfu lly complete a task. Emphasis on attractiveness and intelligence are not the only factors marketers consider in their ads. Social learning theory suggests th at from childhood, we are ta ught what behaviors are acceptable for males and females. Men are urged to possess qualities of dominance, aggressiveness and strength, causing them to place more emphasis on competition (Wood, 1994). Females, on the other hand, are j udged by appearance and/or relati onships, typically taught that having a competitive nature is a male trait (Wood, 1994). It should be no surprise then that while 13% of ads targeting males focused on something being a challenge, competition and/or winning, no fe male ad addressed any of the same topics. Similarly, ads targeting males addressed achievement twice as often as those targeting females. Because men are typically judged by their accomplishments, activities and positions (Wood, 1994), something we learn to do from the time we ar e born, it seems that ma rketers are correct in targeting this insecurity in male ads. However, the fact that they ignore the sense of competition in female athletics implies that females are of no worth in the arena of sport and that their participation is not to be take n seriously. As we see in seve ral of the ads in this study, ads targeting females portray women worried about what she looks lik e or attempting to impress a guy, ignoring that women do enjoy the thrill of a challenge and of winning. This tactic makes females athletic abilities seem illegitimate a nd non-threatening, also implying that females are afraid of competition and taking on a challe nge. Through the reinforcement of this hegemonically friendly idea, the media imply that males need not be thr eatened by the athletic abilities of women. As women s prominence in the world of sport continues to grow, it would
89 benefit marketers to invest in cr eating appeals that true female at hletes can relate to, because as past research has uncovered, lack of identificat ion with media images causes negative marketing results (Silverstein & Silverstein, 1974; Bruce, 1998; Knight & Giuliano, 2001). Surprisingly, very little of Go ffmans (1979) research was reinfo rced in the findings of this sample. Feminine touch, subordination, and ster eotypical bodily expression such as having a knee bent or the mouth open were only significant in one out of the 24 ads targeting females. While this one ad (Skechers) delineated several of Goffmans (1979) codes, it was very atypical of the rest of the sample. This ad is a perfect example of obvious sexual stereotypes of women in advertising and reinforces findings of many pa st studies (Goffman, 1979; Belknap & Leonard, 1991; Klassen et al., 1993; Plous & Neptune, 1997). However, overall most of Goffmans codes, especially those that examine relationship to othe rs, did not even apply to ads of the sample as almost all either did not use models or used onl y a single person. The lack of reinforcement of Goffmans research implies that this sample of advertisements for sport products does not use the typical obvious stereotyping that other types of advertising do. Instead, the stereotyping was much more indirect and subtle, mostly found in textual parts of the ad. There were also some surprising findings in re ference to the style, color or design of the product being advertised. As discussed earlier, style and design are ty pically thought of as female concerns. On the contrary, results show ed that an equal number of maleand femaletargeted ads mentioned style either in the head line or supportive text. Similarly, there was an equal proportion of ads targeti ng each gender that stressed either the color of a product or the variety of color options. Marketers seem to have recognized that fashion and looking good overall is something that both males and females are concerned with. Finally, marketers seem to have different strate gies for targeting each gender with regard to color and typefaces utilized in the ad. Color wa s used as a focus more often in ads targeting
90 females; yet, the colors that we re used, with the exception of pink, were similar. Stereotypically gendered colors such as blue or purple were utilized in both male and female ads. Yet even in equality, some ads had underlying differences in th e ways they used color. It was very obvious that only female ads used the color pink, the mo st typically feminine color. As previously discussed, further research is ne cessary to determine whether this was due to charity connections or just stereotypical use of color. Furthermore, script typefaces were utilized in 13% of the ads targeting females but none of the ads targeting males. This supported previous research that showed sc ripts curvy and neat nature caused it to be thought of as girlie or feminine (Henderson, 2005). Henderson (2005) found that script typefaces are thoug ht to be likeable, warm, attractive and emotional. The use of these typefaces is not surprising; it seems to ag ain imply that females in sport should not be taken seriously. While the male ads used conservativ e, serious fonts, the sc ript fonts used in the female ads invoked a sense of fun and silliness. Conclusions There is a double standard in our society as a womans attractiveness tends to be how she is judged (Wolf, 1991). This standard, inherent to a patriarchal society th at seeks to preserve hegemony, is clearly evident in the ads included in this sample. The stereotyping is very subtle however. Most of the stereotyping found within th is sample of advertisements was found either in the headline or descriptive copy, and not the visual. Marketer s continue to trivialize womens participation in sport and to enforce hegem ony and commodity feminism, theyre just doing a better job of masking it (Gramsci, 1971; Goldma n et al., 1991). One could argue that while improvements have been made in the obvious appearance of gender stereotyping within advertising, subtle stereotyping ma y prove to be even more dangerous. It is much easier to be critical of an ad that shows a obviously sexual im age than it is of an ad that shows a powerful
91 woman in the visual, but stereo types in the language chosen w ithin the copy. People dont question the subtle stereotypes a nd it is unlikely to come under as much fire as the more obvious stereotyping. Virtually unnoticed, the danger lies in how these subtleties are accepted by society and serve to reinforce hegemony. As female interest and participation in sport continues to grow at a rapid pace, more profit is to be made from sports products. Marketers need to realize the benefits in creating appeals to which athletic females can relate. While targetin g strategies may differ between genders, caution must be taken to not stereotype or make light of female participation in sports. The message a marketer sends about the users of its product affects the way consumers view both the product and ultimately themselves. The marginalization of women's athleticism and ability that results from these stereotypical media presentations serve to reinforce hegemony and commodity feminism in the world of sport. Therefore, thro ugh the use of stereotypes, advertising may create a barrier to any significant change with respect to notions of the female athlete, her body, and her athletic ability, particularly gi ven societys use of media as a symbolic model of appropriate behavior. Furthermore, these negative stereotype s limit females ability to be successful in a world that has not come to fully accept their equality with men. This study contributes to th e previously established body of knowledge through its focus on sports advertising and specifi cally how sports product market ers target men compared to women. While previous studies examined ge nder difference in bot h general and sports advertising, none specifically compared male and female-targeted ads for the same product/brand. I hope that this study will initia te a closer look into how marketers and advertisers portray men and women, even in a fiel d where equity is suppose dly closer and closer to being reached. While certain aspects of s port advertising seem to have achieved gender equality, a closer look will reveal unde rlying stereotypes and trivialization.
92 Suggestions for Future Research In conducting a content analysis, and more specifically a qualitative analysis, there are always discrepancies among indi viduals concerning how an im age or sentence is to be interpreted. A sign, be it an image or te xt, may convey one message to one person and something completely different to someone else. These discrepancies may be due to different racial, social, class, cultural or gender background s. As a Caucasian, upper-middle class female, I may have coded some ads or interpreted signs di fferently than another researcher of a different background would have. Despite efforts to rema in objective, these ba ckground factors can still affect interpretation. Furthermore, this study only focused on products that are marketed to both sexes. A study of products that advertise strictly to females or males may produce completely different findings. Further research is needed to determine whethe r other forms of sports advertising have made similar strides. As with the method of content analysis in gene ral, this study would be more complete if it incorporated audience perceptions of tactics us ed in each ad. While we can code for the appearance of certain topics and interpret meaning of text and photos, without consumer research, we dont know whether th ese appeals are helping or hurti ng marketers or the athletes these ads portray. Future re search should incorporate audience interpretations.
93 APPENDIX A CODEBOOK Achievement: Includes any mention of acco mplishment, overcoming an obstacle, reaching a goal, etc. Does the text imply that the audience has already accomplished a goal, has not accomplished a goal, or will achieve a goal after using the advertised product? Describe. Attractiveness/b eauty/looks: Does the ads text address ones looks or attractivenss? This can include references to losing weight in order to be more attractive, being fit, beauty, looking good, looking ones best, etc. This can also be done in indirect ways such as suggestions that the opposite sex will pay more attention to you. Does it suggest that th e product will help impr ove ones level of attractiveness? Describe and explain. Bodily expression: Bending knee? Arms close to body? Standing erect/tall? Does the model appear tired? In other words, does he/she appear to be so exhausted that he/she wont be able to complete the task at hand, appear to be sweating excessively, making faces that in dicate he/she is in pain, or looking faint. Brand: Record Brand advertising in ad. Challenge: Does the ad mention anyt hing about taking on a challenge or overcoming a challenge? Does the ad discuss performing a feat that seems impossible? Describe. Color of product: Does the ad discuss or stress the color of the product or the variety of color choices available? Describe. Competition/winning: Does the ad menti on or imply a sense of competition? This can include directly mentioning competition or winning something or it could also indirectly addre ss being better than others at something. Any mention of being the best at something should be mentioned. Describe. Confidence: Does the headline or text of the ad make any mention of confidence improving ones confidence, having confidence, the product giving you confidence, etc. Describe. Diet/weight loss: Does the headline or s ubtext of the ad address diet or weight loss in any way? This can include mention of becoming thinner, caloric value, any mention of pounds or weight, fat-free, etc. If so, explain and describe. Easy: Does the ad address how the product will make life, playi ng the sport, etc. any easier for the user? If so, does it insinua te that the user could not successfully perform without the pr oduct? Describe.
94 Emotional: Does the ad address emotion in an unfitting or unnecessary way? For example, does the ad refer to being emo tional toward an inanimate object would not typically warrant emotion. Does the ad make either gender seem overemotional? Emphasis of ad color: Does color used in the ad appear to be a main focus? Is the ad all one color, or do any photographs use a color filter? Please describe and explain. Also record the colors emphasized, if any. Engineered/designed: In describing how th e product looks or is made, does the ad use language such as engineered crafted built designed etc.? Describe. Facial expression: Describe facial expression of model. Eyes averted? Mouth open? Smiling or laughing? Chin down? Head tilted? Feminine touch: If model is female, does the female use fingers or hands to trace outline of product, or is female just bare ly touching an object or self-touching? Focus on body: Does the ad use a models body as the main focus of the ad? Is the focus on the display of th e entire body or just certain parts of the body? If just body part(s), which one(s)? Describe the image of the body or body parts. Improvement: Does the ad address improvi ng ones game, confidence or overall health, etc.? Look for discussion of how the product can improve the user in some way. Describe. Inexperience: Does the ad say anyt hing about being inexperienced with something? This would mostly occur with reference to being inexperienced with a sport, or new to the sport, etc. Does the ad address playin g the sport just for fun, implying that the subject of the ad is too inexperienced to be considered as a serious competitor? Describe. Model present: Record whether a model is used within the ad. Non-human or animated figures will not be included. Include how many models are in the ad. Also record whether the model is male or female. Motion in photo: Does subj ect appear obviously posed in the photo; motionless; or appear only from the neck up (face onl y)? Is the model in the ad active or do they look like they are about to take ac tion (sports, walking, running, etc.) ? Or are they simply posing with or without the product? Nutrition: Does any part of the ad mention nutrition? This can include mentioning or alluding to calorie valu es, vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates, etc. Explain and describe. Performance: Any discussion or mention of how the product performs or how it can positively change user performance. Describe.
95 Power: This refers to any mention of a person being powerful or having power over others. Also look for mention of a product giving someone the power to do something. It can often be referred to in an indirect way. Look for mentions of strength, ownership or superiority as well. Describe and explain. Preparation: Does the ad discuss preparat ion in any way? This can include being prepared for an athletic activity or any other occurrence in life. Does it mention how the product will help the user to be more prepared? Does it mention the user not being prepared? Describe. Product specifics: Does the ad do into sp ecifics concerning the product? This can include listing features, i ngredients, special technol ogy the product uses, etc. Describe. Product: Record specific product being advertised. Relationship with others (if multiple mode ls present): What relationship does the main model seem to have with other in the ad? Name their occupational roles in the ad if applicable (secretary, boss, doctor, nurse, etc.). Is one model positioned lower physically than another? Is there a sense of dominance from one model and submissiveness from another, how so? Is model portrayed in child-like manner or as a professional subordinate? Show product: Does the ad physically display the product being advertised? Source of ad: If magazine, list magazine t itle, year, month. If ad is from the Internet, please cite address. Style: Does the ad mention anything about the style of the product, being in style, different style options of th e product, etc.? Describe. Targeted to: Please circle whether the ad targets males or females. Technology/science/innovation: Include s any mention of technology, science, innovation, scientific eviden ce, mechanics, biomechan ics, computer technology, etc. This is often found in the explana tion of the products ingredients or unique selling point. Many sports products will have some kind of process or technology that makes their product different. Describe and explain findings. Use of expert: Does the ad use an expert or celebrity endorse r? If so, please name and explain why they are famous if the ad says so. Use of script font: Does the ad use any form of script or cursive font in either the headline or supporting text?
96 APPENDIX B CODESHEET Source of Ad: _________________________________________________________ Brand: ______________________________________________________________ Product: _____________________________________________________________ Targeted to: Male Female Show Product: Yes No Model present: Yes No Male Female Feminine touch: (Please describe) Relationship with others (if multiple models present): (Please describe) Motion in photo: (Please describe) Facial expression: (Please describe) Bodily expression: (Please describe) Attractiveness/beauty/looks: (Please describe) Focus on body: (Please describe) Diet/weight loss: (Please describe) Nutrition: (Please describe) Power: (Please describe) Technology/science/innovatio n: (Please describe) Performance: (Please describe) Improvement: (Please describe) Confidence: (Please describe) Easy: (Please describe)
97 Preparation: (Please describe) Achievement: (Please describe) Inexperience: (Please describe) Use of script font: (Please describe) Emphasis of Ad Color: (Please describe) Product specifics: (Please describe) Competition/winning: (Please describe) Challenge: (Please describe) Use of expert: (Please describe) Style: (Please describe) Color of product: (Please describe) Engineered/Designed: (Please describe) Emotional: (Please describe)
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108 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lauren Heaphy graduated from the University of Florida with a Master of Advertising degree in August 2007. She received her Bachelor of Science in a dvertising from the University of Florida in December 2005. She participat ed in the Combined Degree program at the University of Florida, partially completing her masters degree while still an undergrad. Her research interests include pr oduct placement and the portrayal of gender in advertising.